Did It Work? Foreclosure Modification

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Roben Farzad, a senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek, continues a weekly series this month looking at Obama administration economic stimulus programs. This week: Helping Families Save Their Homes Act.


Roben Farzad

Comments [13]

Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn, NY

Hi, The stress in the voice of the first caller (I think his name is Joe from Connecticut), as he told about being behind on his mortgage payments is something that I am quite familiar with. Before I was foreclosed on in Atlanta in November 2005, I was told that bankers did not want to foreclose. Soon I discovered that the opposite is true. Some banks just don’t care. The experience of losing my home was devastating. I do not wish it on anybody. It must not be allowed to happen ever again. Eugenia Renskoff

Jul. 13 2011 01:34 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

@Dr Anne Balcer from NYC

I am in full agreement with you, I was also taken aback.

Believe me, he wouldn't sound so flippant if he experienced the horrors of the foreclosure process from stressful beginnings to debilitating end. It's no joke!

Jul. 13 2011 12:54 PM
Roben Farzad from NYC

Dear Dr. Balcer,

So sorry that I came across as flippant. Not at all my intention.

I respect your PhD


Jul. 13 2011 12:54 PM
Dr Anne Balcer from NYC

I was honestly shocked by the flippant tone taken by Roben Farzad. People are seriously suffering; we have many examples of terrible foreclosure practices. Farzad seems to believe that all who took out mortgages were in a state of perfect information, and should take their lumps now that the market has tanked. This was (and is) absolutely untrue--mortgage lenders were fraudulent and unregulated, etc., etc.--and on top of that, just practically, the foreclosure process now going on may be in the best interests of the banks (in their view) but is preventing the housing market from finding a bottom, and then some stability. Perhaps Farzad feels that his simplification of complicated issues and his flippant ''humorous'' tone turns him into a radio star, but it leaves me (a PhD in Economics) stunned and disappointed in my favorite WNYC show.

Jul. 13 2011 11:42 AM
D. from Weston, CT

I had always been so proud to have raised my kids in our modest 700 sq ft home and felt l like I would have my home in lieu of retirement savings.
I qualified for the Making Home Affordable program for many reasons - including having a loss of income.
The process was a 2 year nightmare of bait and switch. Conflicting information, spoke to a diff person each time, after being hold for 25 minutes every time. I was told repeatedly that I did qualify, and that a trial reduction packet was coming. Never happened. Program is a total posturing scam.
In order to not miss a payment I had to take out a government loan.

Jul. 13 2011 11:13 AM
Edward from NJ

It sounds like the caller who says he had to pay fees when his bank sold his mortgage to another lender may be being scammed.

Jul. 13 2011 11:02 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The whole SUBURBANIZATION scheme that started in the late 1950s, is a failure. That whole 50 year scheme to move tens of millions out of the inner cities and into the former corn and potato fields, in order to pursue this "American Dream" has turned into a nightmare, because the whole scheme was based on the assumption of endlessly low energy costs.

Half the people who moved out to the "burbs" shouldn't have been allowed to do so in the first place.

I say, return the land to the farmers, and/or to nature, and bring the people back to the cities where CIVILIZED people belong! Amen!

Jul. 13 2011 10:59 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Moving many tens of millions of people far away from where they work, so that they would have to buy many cars from Detroit and buy lots of gasoline from the oil companies was not a very good long term strategy for the country over the long haul. It could only happen at a time when he had little international competition, like right after WWII when all competition was flat on their backs.

But it's a different world, and energy prices are going to continue to soar, and the suburbs are going to sink back into the weeds.

Jul. 13 2011 10:59 AM
mike from NYC

If banks loaned money to people who the normal guidelines say should not have been given a mortage, and then sold the mortage, the bank committed fraud and should be prosecuted. Any down payment that the home owner made was fraudulantly taken from them and should be returned. The banks or similar organizations that made a pattern of this kind of activity should be prosecuted under the organized crime and corrupt organizations acts which carry jail terms and punitive fines.

Jul. 13 2011 10:59 AM

There's a really good article in the Times magazine last week about the head of the FDIC. She actually puts the blame on Geithner and the pro-bank approach to the bailout. She also says there was a contrast to what Obama personally would have liked done, and what Summers and Geithner did. Which was essentially decide in favor of banks over rescuing homeowners.

Jul. 13 2011 10:51 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Lowering payments usually consisted of knocking off a couple of hundreds dollars--that usually does not help.

Jul. 13 2011 10:51 AM
David in Fredericksburg, VA from Fredericksburg, VA

Why are we handing bundles of money to more irresponsible people?
I took a loss on the sale of my home in NJ - I had to relocate for employment. My current home has dropped drastically in value. But, since I put down a significant down payment - tough for me. Others go out and buy a home on 100% financing & my tax money should bail them out?
NO - let them take their lumps same as me!

Jul. 13 2011 10:51 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Did is work? A resounding NO!

I personally know of 6 families that have lost their homes.

Obama's "fixes" have been ineffective.

Jul. 13 2011 10:50 AM

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