The Home Affordable Modification Program, an Obama administration program designed to reduce mortgage payments for homeowners in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure, has fallen short of original goals and looks like it will be terminated. The program has given out about $840 million out of the $30 billion in TARP funds available, but by ending it now the Congressional Budget Office says the government will save $1.4 billion over 10 years.
HAMP, enacted two years ago with funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, offers incentives to loan servicers to modify loans for people having trouble making payments. However, the Treasury Department has no authority to compel banks and loan servicers to participate, and so far the program has only modified about 600,000 loans — well below the 3 million to 4 million anticipated. Additionally, opponents of the program argue that a majority of those who enter the program end up being harmed because they use up savings and damage credit ratings during months of waiting, and then are rejected for permanent reduced loans.
So while many in California and across the country are unable to make their mortgage payments and facing the possibility of foreclosure, it looks like these individuals will have to find a creative way, not sponsored by the government, to save their homes.