August 31st, 2009
06:49 PM ET
5 years ago

Mortgage program hasn't helped enough, some say

The Making Home Affordable Program aims to help homeowners avoid losing their homes to foreclosures.
The Making Home Affordable Program aims to help homeowners avoid losing their homes to foreclosures.

(CNN) - When President Obama unveiled the Making Home Affordable Program in March, he said it would help "responsible folks who have been making their payments" reduce their monthly mortgage bills and avoid losing their homes to foreclosure.

But six months into the program, only 6 percent of the 4 million eligible homeowners have gotten help. A lot more say they've been frustrated with the runaround they've been getting from lenders.

Are the new program's growing pains responsible for the slow start, as bankers say, or is pain to their bottom lines really preventing the program from working, as critics say?

Full story


Filed under: Obama administration
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. John from California

    I think a close examination of the term "responsible folks" would help explain a whole lot. Out here in California, way too many people used their home equity as if it were sure money in the bank! Well now, after they spent their wad, I'm not willing to pay for their expensive cars, vacations, boats, etc. and neither is President Obama.

    August 31, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  2. Fan of Common Sense

    So for the last several years, I have been living in a tiny, cramped apartment , diligently working hard trying to do the responsible thing and save enough money to make a down payment on a house that I can afford. Now, even though I'm still waiting to buy MY house, I'm being told that I have to first pay for the houses of irresponsible and/or incompetent spendthrifts who feel as though the world is owed to them on a silver platter. What a country!

    August 31, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  3. Pel

    Mr President,

    Please kick your point person in the rear and insist they tighten the screws on the banks. They need to get the money out to the homeowners asap. Help is needed.

    August 31, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  4. On the other hand...

    This is is how well government intervention in private industry works. As much as liberals like to think it's a matter of the government just getting bigger and coming down with more programs and proclamations, this is how convoluted things get when it doesn't make sense.

    Since January we have seen program after program not do what they intended it to do. What is it that consistently fails so reliably, the philosophy of intervention in private industries or the execution? I suggest it is a flawed philosophy to begin with.

    That sure ends up being an expensive lesson in both time and dollars. I'm sure glad there's an upper limit on time...4 years.

    August 31, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  5. Mike G

    Nor should it. Get the deadbeats out so respobsible people who saved their money can have their chance.

    August 31, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  6. DJ

    Whenever Obama tries to help people by asking regulations he is accused of being a Commie by the right-wing nutjobs.

    Clearly the banks need more oversight and regulations. The root cause mortage lending practices still need a lot of work to fix.

    The shady lending , infomercials, bait and switch tricks are still causing problems.

    August 31, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  7. Joe

    Pass House Bill 3044 and put a moratorium on the Home Valuation Code of Conduct. Then you might see some things change. It would at least help. People would not have to deal with lenders and their appraisal management companies which take 90 days to close on a loan and pay higher fees for appraisals when the appraiser they hire is the cheapest one the lender can find so they can pocket a higher share of the appraisal fee.

    August 31, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  8. Kick the Bums Out

    They need to make Bawny Fwank and Chris Dodd overseers of the program.

    August 31, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. Crystal

    Duh! No kidding. But that's okay, Obama helped his friends on Wall Street.

    August 31, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. lucyk

    I think the mortgage companies don't really WANT to help these people and are not going out of their way to do so. It is certainly MORE LUCRATIVE for them to simply allow the home to go into foreclosure, the mortgage is insured, they will get the money from AIG or other insurer, and then unload the home for a greatly reduced amount. They don't really care about the average Americans who are losing their homes. It is very sad. Then their credit is ruined and they'll have to rent for the rest of their lives. The property developers will get richer, and the American dream that every family should own a home is lost.

    August 31, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  11. Deuce

    Boarack Obama to some strange Garbage. is now a Doctor of Medicin... A Witch-Doctor... Whop has no idea which, switch to switch, that wont cause him anymore of an hitch..

    August 31, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  12. Why is Obama.....

    allowing us poor folk to lose our homes to greedy bankers??

    Is he in their pocket???

    August 31, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  13. JOBLESS IN IOWA

    Just another trick by Obama to put more people in debt.

    August 31, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  14. Thomas5

    A government program that isn't working as advertised?

    No, say it ain't so.

    August 31, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  15. mattie

    let's see the government can't implement a program to help 4 million home owners, but they are going to be in charge of our health care. That should work out just fine.

    August 31, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  16. Willy Brown

    Looks like Obama can't handle a simple job as POTUS. Alright go ahead and blame Bush Barry.

    August 31, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  17. Lyn from Osoyoos,B.C Canada near the American border

    I believe that the people will be help it just takes time,the program is very slow process I pray for those who are in this situation don't give up keep going back to your lender again and again.---------Steele your comments is truly insulting for the memory of Senate Teddy Kennedy, you are a disgrace you are spreading faults rumors,lies about the Health care reform. Steele you should take some lessons from our Teddy. Kennedy help the poor and want all American to have Health care, so we the American people will have health care reform this year with or without you Republicans.

    August 31, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. GI Joe

    Hmmmm

    If I give you money to pay a bill, and you don't pay that bill, it's MY FAULT?

    The banks need to be punished. Find out which ones are not honoring their word to help, and STOP DOING BUSINESS WITH THEM.

    August 31, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  19. peggyledbetter

    Yes, I heard from a friend that the program was a joke! President Obama should have done more for the people in terms of saving their job and homes. Every big bank got bail out money.... but what about the people who stood in long lines at the voting polls. The President needs to step in and do more for the people who are really suffering!

    August 31, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  20. Jamie Schenkel

    My mother-in-law started the process immediately when it was first offered. They said it would take 6-8 weeks. She called after 10 weeks, and was told they couldn't complete the application because there was a new form to fill out. She has been calling every two weeks for over 5 months, every single time they ask for a new form and never get back to her. She is about to lose the house, and can't get any actual help. After 3 months she asked for a manager, and they actually told her to call back when she was no longer upset!

    August 31, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  21. jinxie

    Obama gives money to banks. He doesn't care what they do with it. There's no regulation or active oversight. The worst they risk is a severe finger wagging.
    It's another program by the neoliberal despots designed to enrich the financiers without regard to the consumer. Like healthcare, Obama's focus remains on those who line his pockets. The program is designed to fail for consumers, enrich the bankers. The only problem is those pesky homeowners. They seem to think they have rights.

    August 31, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  22. Career serviceman

    I confess that the solution to the mortgage problem is above my intelligence and capabilities. I also acknowledge that sincere efforts have been made to remedy the problem faced by millions of homeowners.

    But has it been taken into account that as long as the unemployment rate continues to skyrocket and tens of thousands of Americans lose their jobs each month, should the focus be on reversing or at least slowing down the rate of unemployment before worrying about mortgage practices? After all, many people do not have a steady form of income with which to put food on the table or pay rent, much less pay their mortgage.

    August 31, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  23. OzeTeach

    Bank of America turned me down for refinancing! They are rip off artists.

    August 31, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  24. JSR-NY

    Dear Jessica Yellin,
    Thank you soooooo much for this article. My husband and I have been frustrated and desperated by making home affordable program which has not work out effectively, at all. The bill President Obama signed has not affect on the HUD, FHA and specially Mortgage Banks. Mort Banks have different story. We have FHA loan thru CITI Mortgate. Our monthly mortgage bills vs income ratio is 63%.

    Our goal is to reduce their monthly mortgage bills and avoid losing their homes to foreclosure. We contacted the dept. of home affordable in Citi 20 times more in May. Our request was rejected by Citi because we've FHA loan in May. However, on August 15, 2009, the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary, Shaun Donovan released new guidelines for FHA-Home Affordable Modification Program(FHA-HAMP) to bring it into compliance with the helping families save their homes act of 2009 signed by Obama.

    Under the new guidelines which will go in affect on AUGUST 15, 2009, CURRENT FHA BORROWERS WILL NOW BE ABLE TO PERMANENTLY REDUCE THEIR MONTHLY MORT BILL. Thus, we submitted documents of FHA-HAMP over and over again to CITI in Aug. Some banks including Citi keep easily on ignoring FHA-HAMP which singed by president OBAMA in May.
    Please President, Tim, Eric Holder, FBI, or HUD's secretary, Shaun Donovan should investigate and consider bailing out to such kinds of banks with citizen's taxes. Citizen's anger and pain are growing and growing.

    August 31, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  25. MIKE

    My loan servicer has taken me on a true roller coaster ride!It has been three months,& I still do not have a final agreement package,as of date. My loan servicer keeps on making final agreement dates,but, does not stand by them.We have to keep redoing the modification process over . They keep sending me recorded messages, that it is important to call.When I call,after waiting between 45 minutes to 2 hours & 45 minutes,on hold,after approx. 18 minutes of prompting,they tell me I should not of called.The rep stated that he e-mailed the agreement pachage,initially,that I did not receive.So we had to go thru the process again. Then he makes another date,which can not be kept.AS OF DATE,I HAVE NOT RECEIVED MY AGREEMENT PACKAGE,TO READ ,SIGN,& FAX BACK ,WITH THE DEPOSIT CHECK !! AS OF TODAY(08/31/09),I AM SCHEDULED TO RECEIVE THE AGREEMENT PACKAGE,BY THIS FRIDAY!! WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENS!! MY LOAN SERVICER IS "OCWEN" !!!

    August 31, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
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