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Foreclosures Soar in Quarter Three – HAMP Falters

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By : Scott Zahid    99 or more times read
Around 470,000 homeowners got help from either banks or government programs to stop foreclosures in third quarter ending September 30, which is a 17% drop from quarter 2 and a fall of 32% from third quarter in 2009 as per a report from Office of the Controller of Currency and Office of Thrift Supervision. The report covers only mortgages amounting to 64% held by thrifts and national banks.

The flagship program of the Obama administration to prevent foreclosures fell much short of target. It experienced a steep fall in quarter 3 with only loans numbering 59,000 modified, which was down by 46% from quarter 2. Another set of loans numbering 44,000 are in a trial period of 3 months, which means that if homeowners make mortgage payments during 3 months, they get permanent modification. Modification implies lesser interest rates and/or extended payment periods.

Popular belief is that numbers in HAMP are falling because the number of eligible borrowers whose evaluation has not been done has reduced. The HAMP has reached far short of the goals it intended to fulfill. According to early goals of the administration, the target of the program was to help 3 to 4 million homeowners combat foreclosure. However, a panel of the Congress estimated last month that mostly it would help only around 700,000 to 800,000 mortgages.

For qualifying for the HAMP, the government has given the following guidelines:

  • You must stay in your home

  • The current loan you have must be within limits

  • Your payments must be over 31% of gross income

  • You must give proof of your income

  • Currently, you must have some income

However, Marc Zandi, of Moody’s Analytics, predicts that when final figures for 2010 are estimated, the number of foreclosed homes in the US will be 1.8 million. This year, Moody estimates that foreclosures will reach up to 2.1 million. A surge in foreclosures is a serious reason why prices of homes dropped in quarter three in 20 big metropolitan areas in the U.S., a first since 2009 February.

According to the report by the government, the number of 60 days or more overdue mortgage loans dropped 7.5% to 1.9 million. While the economy recovers slowly and losses of jobs decline, lesser numbers of homeowners are defaulting on their loans. This may reduce the size of new foreclosures moving forward.

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