Lenders: simplify the loan-mod processby Tim Manni
After a series of meetings with top banking executives, Treasury Department officials said they want lenders to modify 500,0000 mortgages by Nov. 1. Since the program, known as Making Home Affordable, began in March, it has recorded about 200,000 loan modifications. [...]
Officials from the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development discussed with the banking executives ways to get aid to borrowers more quickly. Lenders asked the government to clarify which borrowers are eligible and to simplify the program, according to industry officials briefed on the meetings. Administration officials again urged lenders to hire more staff to keep up with demand from borrowers seeking loan modifications and reminded the executives that the program is a White House priority, according to participants in the meetings.
Lenders also made some good suggestions, including standardizing the loan documents requested from loan-mod applicants, and setting up a website for where they could apply. The lenders also asked, again, that the government quantify at what level of “financial distress” a borrower would be eligible. Those are good ideas which shouldn’t take too much work to accomplish.