BOSTON (CBS) — HAMP, the Home Affordable Modification Program was launched by the U.S. Treasury exactly two years ago. Since then, servicers have started 600,000 permanent modifications, a far cry from the anticipated three- to four-million loan modifications.
When asked about the ongoing foreclosure crush, James Mahoney, Director of Corporate Communications and Public Policy for Bank of America, frankly admits that they have had to build up the capability to deal with the problem. “To be honest, it hasn’t been perfect,” Mahoney says.
Alexis McGuiness, of Laconia, New Hampshire, is facing foreclosure. She was denied a modified loan under HAMP, and has been battling Bank of America for months.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mary Blake reports.
“They just give me the runaround. I talk to four different time zones and everyone gives me a different story,” McGuiness says.
New Hampshire Republican Congressman Frank Guinta says it’s time to eliminate HAMP. He says it hasn’t worked, it should be repealed, and an alternative be considered.
Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Barney Frank says the program needs to be tweaked, not scrapped, and argues progress is being made. “The Bank of America just decided, in effect, to set up two banks. One bank to do its regular ongoing business, the other bank to deal with the backlog of bad loans.
The problem is the banks weren’t equipped to handle it. They weren’t giving it enough attention,” says Frank.
The U.S. House votes this week on terminating HAMP. The Senate is not likely to take it up, and President Obama has already threatened to veto.