Issue 1 (2011)
Servicer Performance in Processing of HAMP Loan Modifications: A Survey of Massachusetts-Based Counseling Agencies
The Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) attempts to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by compensating servicers that allow borrowers to modify the terms of their mortgages. To understand the seemingly troubled HAMP process, the Community Development unit of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank of Boston administered surveys to loan-modification counselors. The results indicate that the process takes much longer than the guidelines indicate and that servicers frequently claim the applications are incomplete. The surveys were run twice to assess any improvements.
With homeownership central to the national economy and U.S. housing policy, the drop in homeownership rates could have long-term negative consequences. A growing body of research argues that alternative homeownership products, such as limited equity cooperatives and lease-to-own models, can offer participants many of the benefits of ownership while reducing some risks. However, these models are not widely implemented or understood. This article asks experts in the housing field about the prospects of greater adoption of these models.