Lenders Urged to Move Quicker on Mortgage Modifications
The Obama administration recently sent a letter to the chief executives of the 25 lenders who have signed up for the Making Home Affordable program, urging them to move quicker to help troubled homeowners.


In the two-page letter, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Secretary for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Shaun Donovan, asked the servicers to hire more staff, expand call centers and improve the training of employees handling calls from borrowers. The banks also were told to designate a senior liaison for the program and to prepare for a July 28 meeting with senior Treasury and HUD officials to discuss how to fully implement the effort.


“We are asking that all servicers expand servicing capacity and improve the execution quality of loan modifications in order to help the sizable number of homeowners at risk of foreclosure and eligible for the program,” the letter said.


The administration will begin issuing monthly reports by Aug. 4 detailing lenders’ performance, including how many modifications they have implemented. They will be judged by new criteria, such as how long it takes borrowers to get help over the phone and the accuracy of the information they are provided. Freddie Mac, the government-controlled mortgage financing company, is developing a “second look” program to audit the applications of borrowers who have been denied help under the program.


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