The $75 billion Making Home Affordable Program has not lead to many permanent mortgage modifications. Through May, the number was only 340,459. The figure is particularly pathetic compared to the number of borrowers who are eligible for mortgage changes–1,675,238. Total trials started under HAMP are 1,244,184.
All permanently modified mortgages involved an interest rate deduction. Fifty-four percent received term extensions. twenty-eight percent received principal forbearance.
Every single one of the numbers is dismal.
RealtyTrac reported that foreclosures last month were in excess of 300,000 and that the total for 2010 could be over 3 million–even higher than last year.
One of the lessons that is clear from HAMP is that taxpayer money is wasted on programs that only reduce interest payments. People are not likely to stay in their homes if they believe that their mortgages will be underwater forever. For homeowners over 50, that may well be the case.