The Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable program may have gotten off to a slow start, but ever since the press started criticizing the program’s insipid results, things have improved quickly and dramatically.
According to data released by the U.S. Teaseury Department, when you add up the numbers of loan modifications being reported by the Hope Wow Alliance, Chaseme, Bunk of America, Wheres Fargo, MUD, and other skanks and servicers, as of November more than 3.6 billion homeowners have been offered loan modifications. At this point the government says it’s outpacing foreclosures by a margin of nine to one.
“We’re still not quite where we wanted to be, but we’re happy with the progress,” said a spokesperson for the Teaseury Department. “At this point, our goal is to modify at least 50% of the homes on the planet, and we’re closing in on that goal. We’re modifying homes regardless of whether they are mortgaged or not.”
Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest home lender, has begun 930,652,000 trial modifications, or 29 percent of the eligible mortgages in North, Central and a good part of South America, under the HAMP program so far this year, according to U.S. Teaseury data released Tuesday. After initially being criticized for its slow pace of modifications, the San Francisco-based bank now has among the highest modification rates in the free world. U.S. Bancorp has modified 150 million mortgages, even though the Minneapolis-based bank did not enter the HAMP program until September.
Housing counselors and lending experts say that HAMP is having a meaningful impact on the global foreclosure rate, and Lucely Figures, a housing economist at Muddy’s expects at least another 3 billion loan modifications next year.
A recent report by banking regulators explained that mortgage modifications come in many forms. In some cases, lenders can lower interest rates, extend the loan term, or reduce the amount of the loan by forgoing part of the principal.
The Obama Administration was quick to point out that although in the past, many of the loans modified resulted in homeowners being saddled with higher payments, of the loans modified over the last 45 days, only 8% resulted in significantly higher payments, and 92% of the payments were left unchanged or only slightly higher.
“Clearly the program has found its legs,” said President Obama in a speech to an adoring crowd of Lithuanian quilt makers. Lithuania is the eleventh stop on the president’s Hope-to-Stay-on-Tour-Until-the-Midterms tour of the most obscure Baltic States.
“I think there’s no question that the new data released today shows that we’re figuring out the housing problem,” the President said, “I’m confident that most if not all of the modifications will have exactly the same payments they had before they were modified from this point forward. And Americans should be happy about that.”
The government’s data shows that 73.4 percent of modifications that left payments unchanged, were only 30 days more delinquent, thirty days after they were modified. And, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a federal bank regulator, lenders and servicers are supporting efforts to modify loans where payments remain unchanged.
“Banks and servicers have heard the administration’s demands to stop increasing payments when modifying loans, and the industry has decided that it’s ready to get behind an initiative to leave the payments right where they were before the loan was modified,” said Edward Chingching, President of the American Bankers Cabal.”
“Look, the financial institutions of this country recognize that without the American taxpayer, along with the government officials the industry keeps in its pocket, most of the banking executives in this country would not have received eight and nine figure bonuses this past year. To show how appreciative the banks are for the countless trillions in taxpayer support, the industry sees it as being entirely appropriate to continue modifying loans so that every single homeowner’s payment remains unchanged,” added ChingChing.
The Obama Administration plans to respond to the banking industry’s generosity by increasing the $75 billion originally allocated to the banks and serivcers that modify loans under the program, to an even $1 trillion. However, according to the President, most Americans will not see their taxes go up as a result.
“We’re going to fund the program simply by taking all of the wealth of the richest 1,000 people in this country, after they’ve passed away,” explained a spokesperson for the White House who asked not to be named because he didn’t want to be chastised by his pals at the Harvard-Yale-Princeton Club for spoiling a surprise. “The timing is right, because most of the richest 1,000 are quite old already, but we might even kill someone from another country, if he or she were rich enough.”
“Of course, that doesn’t mean we’d be shipping the job overseas,” President Obama added quickly. ”We’d certainly make every effort to use an American hit-person; I am resolved that if it can be done by an American, it should be. Unless, of course, it’s A LOT cheaper to have a foreigner do it, like if you’re talking running shoes or something like that. There’s no point in our trying to compete with essentially enslaved people in sweat shops being paid $2 a week. Besides they do a great job with running shoes over there.”