The Stories of James, Dana, Tammy and the Webers
It was only a few short months ago that the national media started reporting a fact that every American homeowner at risk of foreclosure in the past five years, millions in all, already knew: banks do not want to work with homeowners to help them save their homes. The report concerned the testimony of six former Bank of America (BOA) employees in a Massachusetts lawsuit who revealed that they were actually paid bonuses for denying qualified homeowners HAMP mortgage relief. Those employees were told by their BOA bosses that the Bank made more money from foreclosure than from granting HAMP relief. Thus, for a crooked bank like BOA, the decision made by it to systematically deny qualified homeowners HAMP relief (and the opportunity to save their homes) was truly a no brainer.
Lack of government regulation in enforcing HAMP combined with the profitability of foreclosure results in widespread “false HAMP denials”, causing thousands, if not millions, of families to unnecessarily lose their homes. But like hamburger, HAMP just needs a little help to make it work. HAMP is a federal law, so the meat of mortgage relief is already there, you might say. All the qualified homeowner needs to know is where to find it. The basic test for HAMP qualification is really quite simple – the homeowner’s monthly mortgage expense, defined as the total of his principal, interest, real estate taxes and property insurance, should not exceed 31% of the gross household income.
As an example then, for a family whose total household gross income is $3,000, the monthly mortgage expense, including real estate taxes and insurance, should not exceed $930. James, Dana, Tammy and the Weber’s are homeowners whose mortgage fortunes have been or soon will be reversed because they were victims of false HAMP denials. Because we were able to provide the help needed to make HAMP work for them, they are safely in their homes. Does your mortgage need HAMP help?
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Kate Eyster and Lauren McGookey contributed to this article.
Copyright 2013 Daniel L. McGookey