mortgage modification

Her Financial Goal: Getting an Underwater Mortgage Afloat Again

Everyone has things they want to improve about their financial lives -- and we at DailyFinance are no exceptions. So we asked money expert Jean Chatzky for advice on how to reach our goals. Today: A photo editor looking to modify an underwater mortgage.

Payments for Bad Foreclosures Are No Undeserved Windfall

Since the housing crash, millions of Americans have lost their homes, many of them victims of improper foreclosures. Now, those unfairly evicted homeowners can get cash payments in compensation. But don't be concerned that they're getting more than they deserve.

How to Stretch Out Foreclosure for Years

Janet's a lawyer who's losing her home, and she knows: When it comes to foreclosure, bureaucracy and paperwork can be your friends. Her foreclosure process has lasted for nearly 900 days, and counting. For homeowners in dire financial straits, her story is a lesson in how to keep a roof over your head as long as possible.

Spotting Financial Scammers: A Guide to Common Cons

Even as many Americans struggle to make ends meet, scammers are plotting all sorts of sneaky ways to rob them of their money -- and in millions of cases, they succeed. When it comes to these cons, the best offense is a smart defense, so here's an intro course in how to spot the latest scams.

Weak Economy Is a Boom Time for Financial Scammers

Millions of Americans fall victim to financial scams every year, and since the downturn began, many of those cons have been tailored to lure those suffering the most in our shaky economy: work-at-home schemes, fake mortgage modification services, fraudulent job opportunities and a host of unpleasant others.

Latest Mortage Mod Scam Is an Audit to Nowhere

A raft of con artists have cropped up over the last two years offering "forensic loan audits." They promise to review your mortgage documents, looking for errors and legal flaws that they say they'll use to expedite a loan modification deal. All they usually end up doing is taking more money from already stressed homeowners.

New Face of Foreclosure: Strategic Defaults

Attitudes toward mortgage default are shifting in America. People who've never missed a payment on anything in their lives are walking away from underwater homes, even when they can afford their monthly payments, because staying doesn't make financial sense. But how good a business decision is a strategic default?

How to Finance Home Repairs If You Have No Equity

Financial advice columnist Laura Rowley recently received an email from a homeowner who had negotiated a successful mortgage modification, but may end up as a short-sale candidate anyway -- because she can't finance home repairs. Her options are limited, but possible solutions do exist.

Don't Ask, Just Cram: Let Judges Modify Mortgages Again

Regulators want the nation's big banks to reduce what borrowers owe on underwater mortgages, but they're still focused on solutions that rely on banks to voluntarily do the right thing. But we've already seen that won't work, and history shows what will -- giving bankruptcy judges back the right to cram down mortgages.

Decoding the GOP Argument Against Punishing Banks

Almost as soon as regulators proposed a settlement for the mortgage mess that would require banks to obey the law, the banks' Republican allies began trying to weaken it through obfuscation and confusion. Read on for some plain English translations of their arguments against the settlement.

The Mortgage Mess Settlement Proposal: Off to an Awful Start

A partial settlement plan has been constructed by a group of state attorneys general and federal regulators. In theory, it addresses banks' flawed mortgage servicing, modification and foreclosure practices. In reality, it just lets the banks off the hook.

Bank of America Sued Over Home Loan Modifications

Bank of America's persistent failure to modify home loans has resulted in the inevitable: a consumer class action lawsuit. Last week, Susan Fraser of Missouri filed suit on behalf of herself and other qualified homeowners whom the bank failed to give permanent loan modifications to.

Housing 2011: Unsettled, Underwater, Unsold

Housing market watchers got a bit of good news Thursday: Sales agreements for previously occupied homes rose 10.4 % in October. But that was one spark of hope against a backdrop of declining prices, bulging inventories and ongoing legal issues around foreclosures. A real estate recovery in 2011? Don't count on it.

An Arizonan's Nightmare With Citi's Foreclosure System

Back in December 2008, John H. was small-business owner with perfect credit and a house he could afford. But when his business started suffering, he appealed to Citi Residential Mortgage for a modification. Now, he faces foreclosure -- for the fourth time -- the day before Thanksgiving.

Little Sympathy for 'Besieged' Mortgage Bankers

In a compassionate Bloomberg profile of Barbara Desoer, the president of Bank of America's home loan unit, both the headline and the article call her "beseiged." But here's who's really beseiged: All those homeowners who are getting a raw deal from the banks.

Forget Managing Modifications. BofA Doesn't Have the Staff for Banking

A lack of staff in the face of overwhelming volume is the excuse banks give for turning to robo-signers to speed foreclosures, and for their inability to manage the the mortgage modification process. Now, a class action against BofA raises questions about its core business as well.

The Foreclosure Mess: Are Cram Downs the Only Answer?

Wells Fargo still won't admit it, but its employees' testimony makes it clear that, like GMAC, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and OneWest Bank, they have a problem with their foreclosure documents. But the solution isn't just a better documentation process: It's time to bring back cram downs.

Foreclosure Relief: Good for Banks, Bad for Borrowers

Many troubled homeowners in HAMP, the federal foreclosure relief program, end up losing their property anyway. Banks gain the most by delaying repossessing houses they can't sell, while collecting more monthly payments from strapped borrowers.

Does the Housing Industry Need a Bailout?

Michael Feder of Radar Logic thinks it does. And he adds that government, which has underwritten or guaranteed almost every new mortgage since the financial crisis began, is in a precarious position itself. But Feder offers one possible solution.

Panel: Foreclosure Program Just Isn't Working

The Congressional Oversight Panel, which was tasked with evaluating the federal foreclosure mitigation program, found that the Making Home Affordable plan has done little to help individual homeowners and, in many cases, has just prolonged their pain.