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Watching the bipartisan
Panel members asked tough questions, and appear to have done the math. Caldwell stuck to her prepared script, which amounted to little more than the following two assertions: Mortgage servicers behavior has been "unacceptable" during the housing crisis, and the foreclosure crisis doesn't appear to be a "systemic" risk to the financial industry.
Even when panel members pushed Caldwell to acknowledge that if
It's hard to understand what game the
Other prospective loan modification recipients are rejected and are never even told they have failed to get a loan modification. They only hear about their rejection from creditors calling to collect amounts that the bank now claim are due on their loan.
Yesterday, I received an e-mail from a homeowner telling me that she was finally offered a permanent loan modification -- at a higher monthly payment than what she was already making.
"If I could have afforded my original payment, I would have never needed to file for a loan modification," she wrote. "But I couldn't afford it, and I can't afford to pay more than I was paying before."
The loan modification process has been anything but transparent. President Obama made big promises that up to 4 million homeowners would be helped. Instead, only a tiny percentage of families have had their loans modified. The rest have had their credit destroyed, have lost or will lose their homes, and still do not understand that the entire program was voluntary (even for lenders who "committed" to joining the HAMP program), and the deck was stacked against them from the beginning.
To say that there is no "systemic" risk to the financial industry, when possibly
But will it? I'm not so sure.
For homes that have been abandoned by homeowners, banks aren't necessarily stepping up to pay those taxes, nor are they really taking care of those properties in a way that will preserve their value or that of surrounding neighborhoods.
In his recent appearance on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart, the president said that while he promised change during his presidential campaign, he didn't promise change in 18 months.
Well, that's too bad for millions of homeowners who have lost their homes, jobs and financial lives in the last 18 months -- and for the millions more who are destined to walk that mile.
The Making Home Affordable loan modification program seems to have been a complete failure. Meanwhile, Main Street is about to be foreclosed upon.
Ilyce R. Glink's book is "Buy, Close, Move In!: How to Navigate the New World of Real Estate--Safely and Profitably--and End Up with the Home of Your Dreams"