The Real Deal Miami

Administration considers modifying mortgage program

June 26, 2009 11:19AM

The Obama administration is considering altering its loan modification program to match the current foreclosure landscape. The program was created to address the subprime crisis, but now most foreclosures are driven by unemployment and underemployment. The current program gives mortgage servicers and investors incentives to reduce mortgage payments to 31 percent of homeowners’ incomes, but many homeowners now no longer have sufficient income to qualify for refinancings under this system due to job losses or pay cuts. Around 27 percent of homeowners who called the mortgage industry’s “Hope Hotline” in the second quarter of this year said unemployment was the primary or secondary reason for their mortgage payment problems, up from 9.7 percent of callers in the second quarter of 2008. The administration may create more specific guidelines for borrowers on dealing with homeowners who have lost jobs.