U.S. Homeowners Drop Out of Foreclosure Program Amid Record Defaults

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U.S. Homeowners Drop Out of Foreclosure Program Amid Record Defaults

U.S. Homeowners Drop Out of Foreclosure Program Amid Record Defaults

By Lorraine Woellert and Clea Benson – Nov 18, 2010 7:26 PM ET

U.S. homeowners are dropping out of the Obama administration’s foreclosure prevention program at a faster rate than they are joining it, according to figures released today by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Borrowers aided by the Home Affordable Modification Program grew to nearly 520,000 in October, up 23,750 from a month earlier, the Treasury said in its monthly report. The increase was less than five percent. A total of 36,300 borrowers have dropped out of the plan for failing to make their payments, an increase of 24 percent from a month earlier.

At a congressional hearing earlier in the day, lawmakers said HAMP, which pays lenders to modify loans and reduce monthly payments for struggling borrowers, isn’t doing enough to help homeowners falling behind on their mortgages amid high unemployment and depressed real estate values.

“It’s safe to say that HAMP isn’t meeting its goal of preventing foreclosures,” Representative Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, said at a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing after the Treasury provided a preview of the report.

The Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development issue monthly progress reports on HAMP, a $50 billion program authorized by Congress in 2009. The program was targeted to reach more than 3 million homeowners by paying mortgage servicers $1,000 to rewrite loan terms and $1,000 annually as long as the borrower participates, up to three years.

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