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News Now

Washington
Obama loan mod program to be subject of hearing
WASHINGTON (9/4/09)—The House Financial Services subcommittee on housing and community opportunity will be turning the spotlight on the Obama administration’s Making Home Affordable (MHA) Program later this month. In a scheduled Sept. 9 hearing the subcommittee chaired by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) will take a look at the outcomes for homeowners eligible for the program and what are the obstacles to the program’s success. The Making Homes Affordable Program was launched with the intention of easing the crush of home mortgage disclosures by encouraging lenders to execute more loan modifications for responsible borrowers. However, the program has been criticized for not reaching enough troubled homeowners. For instance, a Sept. 1 article in CNN’s Politics.com said that now, six months into the program, only 6% of four million homeowners identified as eligible have gotten help. The article says borrowers have expressed frustrations that some lenders just give them a runaround. To help support credit union participation in the loan modification program, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) in June issued an interim final rule allowing credit unions to modify second mortgage loans to match the terms of modified first mortgages. Although the Treasury had recently added a second lien program to its MHA, many credit unions could not participate due to an NCUA lending rule that imposed a 20-year maturity limit on second mortgage loans secured by the member-borrower's primary residence. A witness list has not yet been made public for the subcommittee hearing.


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