What about ‘Hope for Homeowners’?by Tim Manni
We last wrote about the Hope for Homeowners program (H4H) just over a month ago, when we noted that after five months, the $300 billion program had helped exactly one homeowner.
How has it done now that it’s been in action for six months? No progress:
The Treasury Department also is attempting to breathe new life into another government foreclosure prevention program, called Hope for Homeowners. That program, launched last year, refinances homeowners into more affordable mortgages. But lenders have balked at requirements that they cut some of the principal that borrowers owe. Only one homeowner has received a government-backed loan under the program so far.
H4H is the foreclosure-prevention program that’s supposed to encourage lenders to voluntarily write down the outstanding balance of mortgages held by homeowners having real trouble paying their loans. The government originally estimated that it could help up to 400,000 families, but now hopes for 25,000 over the next 10 years at a cost of $675 million.
The lenders can’t take all the blame; the program’s requirements are just too onerous, requiring, for example, that homeowners need to all but default on their loans if they want to participate. Treasury is trying to revamp the program, and we’ll let you know when that happens.
If you think you might be eligible for Hope for Homeowners, you should certainly go for it. Here’s a list of lenders participating in the program. Let us know how you make out.