The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) that recently approved of HAMP principal reduction for Freddie and Fannie loans has rejected a proposal by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA). The Principal Paydown Plan is designed to amend the bankruptcy code to allow for payments during a Chapter 13 to go towards principal to substantially reduce the balance owed on an underwater home.
According to an email update by NACBA, many members of Congress have endorsed the Principal Payback Plan. However, despite FHFA Director DeMarco’s initial positive comments about the Principal Paydown Plan, which he said struck him as “being responsible,” and a “credible way to address the crisis while recognizing various interests mortgaged properties,” he recently wrote to Congress informing them that the agency would not be implementing the Principal Paydown Plan. FHFA concluded that few GSE borrowers have filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy and are underwater and therefore the proposal would not be all that helpful. They did, however, commit to doing what they can to help eligible borrowers in bankruptcy get the HAMP modifications they qualify for.
Personally, I see a lot of homeowners that would qualify for the Principal Paydown Plan. Moreover, until something is done about the conflict of interest of servicers, we are not going to see any widespread adoption of principal reduction for Fannie and Freddie loans.