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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Congressional Oversight Panel: Obama Foreclosure Plan will Fall Short

by Calculated Risk on 10/10/2009 08:48:00 AM

From Peter Goodman at the NY Times: Panel Says Obama Plan Won’t Slow Foreclosures

In a report mild in language but pointed in substance, the Congressional Oversight Panel — a watchdog created last year to keep tabs on taxpayer bailout funds — said the administration’s program would, “in the best case,” prevent “fewer than half of the predicted foreclosures.”
When the Obama administration began its $75 billion Making Home Affordable program in March, it said the plan would spare as many as four million households from foreclosure. On Thursday, Treasury announced that 500,000 homeowners had since had their payments lowered on a trial basis, celebrating this as a milestone.

But the report from the oversight panel directly challenged the administration’s characterizations.

Most prominently, the panel had grave uncertainty about whether large numbers of the trial loan modifications — which typically run for three months — would successfully be converted to permanent terms.

As of the beginning of September, only 1.26 percent of trial modifications that had made it through the three-month trial period had become permanent, the report found. Of course, very few of those trial loans had reached their three-month expiration because the program only recently began processing large numbers of applications. As of Sept. 1, the Obama plan had produced 1,711 permanent loan modifications.
emphasis added
The numbers that matter are the permanent loan modifications and the redefault rate. With the report next month we should know much more ...