As many as six million Americans remain at risk of foreclosure over the next three years, according to a recent press release about the government’s Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HAMP).
“We recognize that any modification program seeking to avoid preventable foreclosures has limits, HAMP included,” wrote Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Michael S. Barr.
“Even before the current crisis, when home prices were climbing, there were still many hundreds of thousands of foreclosures. Therefore, even if HAMP is a total success, we should still expect millions of foreclosures.”
Some of these foreclosures, Barr observes, will result from investor borrowers who did not qualify for the program, or because borrowers did not respond to government outreach.
“Still others will be the product of borrowers who bought homes well beyond what they could afford and so would be unable to make the monthly payment even on a modified loan,” Barr says.
The Home Affordable Refinancing Program was intended to help homeowners whose existing mortgages were up to 105 percent of their current house value, but has since been expanded to help those with mortgages up to 125 percent of current value.
“Overall, the GSEs (government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae) have refinanced more than 2.7 million loans since the announcement of the Administration’s comprehensive housing plan,” Barr notes.
Home foreclosures in August jumped 18 percent from a year ago, but decreased 0.47 percent from the previous month, according to a new report by RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties.
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