There are several exciting things happening in mortgage modifications lately. The modification puzzle pieces seem to be falling into place, albeit four years after the foreclosure crisis began. We hope to take full advantage of this and get as many of our clients through a mediation this fall as possible.
First, the Attorney-General settlement is in full swing. We are seeing a number of substantial principal reductions. This money will eventually run out.
Second, Ocwen is buying lots of mortgages, or I should say the mortgage servicing rights. Homeowners who have previously been denied should try again if they learn that Ocwen has taken over their loan. We have written several blogs about Ocwen principal reductions.
Third, our mediations have gone more smoothly lately. The banks/servicers seem a little more organized, and the mediation orders have more requirements ensuring better compliance.
Fourth, the new modification mediation program in the Tampa Division of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court is very successful. While I haven’t kept track of the exact numbers, I know that our mediations through that program have had a much higher success rate.
Fifth, many of the programs have been expanded to help more people. HAMP now applies to investment properties, HARP 2.0 relaxed the refinancing requirements, Florida’s Hardest Hit Program deleted its requirement that a homeowner had to be less than six months in arrears for help, among others.
Fifth, we have recently retained the services of a HUD certified counselor to assist us in all of our upcoming mediations. This person knows her stuff and hopefully will help us achieve even better results for our clients.
Unfortunately, a lot of Florida homeowners are still rejected for reasonable modifications and more work is necessary. But being an optimist, we are at least finally moving in the right direction.