Home Loan Modification Program May Be Helping Subprime Lenders

Subprime lenders who fueled the U.S. housing crisis may be reaping benefits from the Obama administration’s Home Loan Modification program, according to a report from the Center for Public Integrity (CPI).

The $75-billion program, dubbed Making Home Affordable, grants taxpayer subsidies to lenders who successfully lower monthly payments for troubled borrowers. However, the study shows, 21 of the top 25 participating lenders were involved in subprime loans, which led to the housing collapse in the first place.

CPI executive director Bill Buzenberg says that much of the money is simply going back to the same companies that started the problem. According to the report, three of the biggest lenders – Countrywide, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase – are eligible for several billion dollars in aid under the program.

The government has recently urged lenders to crank up their home loan modification assistance programs as the Making Home Affordable plan went off to a slow start. As of last month, less than 10% of eligible borrowers have been aided by the program, according to estimates by the Treasury Department.

The CPI report went on to show that mortgage lenders and servicers have been slow in following the government’s efforts to stem foreclosures, despite “intense pressure” from the White House and the Congress. This is why, the report said, the government has resorted to incentive payments to get them to participate.

Major lenders have slammed the report, saying it undermines their real efforts to help homeowners. Scott Talbott of the Financial Services Roundtable, a group consisting of the largest U.S. lenders, says that it oversimplified the roots of the housing crisis and ignored the complexities of the real estate market.

Talbott added that lenders are doing what they can to help troubled homeowners through the Making Home Affordable program, as well as other foreclosure prevention initiatives.

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The Author is a Loan Modification Assistance specialist who writes on various home loan modification related topics to help people understand & choose the best Loan Modification option. For more helpful articles visit the author?s blog at http://loan-modification assistance.blogspot.com

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