Foreclosure aid falls short
Plans bogged down by red tape, banks’ rules
By Jerry Kronenberg
Monday, October 31, 2011
President Obama's original HARP plan was supposed to help some 5 million Americans, but didn’t.
Similarly, President George W. Bush’s 2008 “Hope for Homeowners” plan fell way short of its 400,000 mortgage refinancing goal.
Obama vowed in 2009 that his original HARP plan would help up to 5 million homeowners refinance into lower-cost mortgages. But only 894,000 have gotten new loans so far.
The plan was also supposed to let 3 million to 4 million “at-risk” homeowners cut monthly mortgage payments. However, just 817,000 have gotten permanent modifications to date.
This year’s Emergency Homeowners Loan Program was designed to give some 30,000 people who lost jobs interest-free, forgivable loans to help make mortgage payments. But the application period opened late and the program had lots of onerous rules, so only 11,800 people qualified.
That includes just 568 Massachusetts homeowners, even though Uncle Sam gave the state enough funds for some 1,260 loans.