Foreclosure Assistance Packet

Foreclosure Assistance Packet

The foreclosure rate in the United States has been rising rapidly since the middle of 2006. Losing a home to foreclosure can hurt homeowners in many ways; for example, homeowners who have been through a foreclosure may have difficulty finding a new place to live or obtaining a loan in the future. Furthermore, concentrated foreclosures can drag down nearby home prices, and large numbers of abandoned properties can negatively affect communities. Finally, the increase in foreclosures may destabilize the housing market, which could in turn negatively impact the economy as a whole. Because of the many negative consequences associated with rising foreclosure rates, there is a broad consensus that the government should explore efforts to prevent further increases in foreclosures and help more families preserve homeownership. Several federal, state, and local foreclosure prevention initiatives have been launched to date These programs include the expired FHA Secure program and the Hope for Homeowners program, both of which allowed troubled borrowers to refinance their loans into new mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA); a loan modification program set up by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for mortgages held by those institutions; and a program put in place by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to help troubled borrowers with loans that had been owned by IndyMac Bank before it was taken over by the FDIC. Several states and localities have initiated their own foreclosure prevention efforts, as have private companies including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Citigroup. A voluntary alliance of mortgage lenders, servicers, investors, and housing counselors has also formed the HOPE NOW Alliance to reach out to troubled borrowers. On February 18, 2009, President Obama announced the Homeowner Affordability and Stability plan, which aims to modify the loans of borrowers who are in danger of default or foreclosure. On February 23, 2009, Representative John Conyers introduced H.R. 1106, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009. This bill would make changes to the Hope for Homeowners program, amend bankruptcy law to allow judges to modify mortgages on primary residences, and establish a safe harbor for servicers who engage in certain loan modifications. While many observers agree that more needs to be done to prevent foreclosures, there are several challenges associated with foreclosure mitigation plans. These challenges include implementation issues, such as deciding who has the authority to make mortgage modifications, developing the capacity to complete widespread modifications, and assessing the possibility that homeowners with modified loans will nevertheless default again in the future. Other challenges are related to the perception of fairness, the problem of inadvertently providing incentives for borrowers to default, and the possibility of setting an unwanted precedent for future mortgage lending. This report describes the consequences of foreclosure on homeowners, outlines recent foreclosure prevention plans implemented by the government and private organizations, and discusses the challenges associated with foreclosure prevention.


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Publisher CreateSpace
Release Date
ISBN 9781511760867
Pages 52 pages
Rating 4/5 (69 users)

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