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Mortgage modifications

Mortgage modifications

Credit: AP

A foreclosure sign sits outside a home for sale in Phoenix, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009. With one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country, Arizona makes a fitting backdrop for President Barack Obama's new housing program, to be unveiled Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


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Posted on December 11, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 11 at 2:48 PM

A new report by the Treasury Department shows how many people have been able to get permanent mortgage modifications.

The federal government has a goal of helping 3 to 4 million families lower their mortgage payments over a three year time period. However since May, the report shows only 31,382 families have been able to get permanent help. The number of requests so far is more than 3 million and the number of people who’ve reportedly received extended modifications is more than a million.

According to an article on CNBC, “1,032,837 were offered modifications. But only 759,058 modifications were started. Why? Because a lot of the borrowers just didn't want them. They would rather try to sell the house or go into foreclosure and walk away.”

I find that hard to believe, especially after reading many of the letters and e-mails I’ve received. Most people who've written me say banks have made the process so complicated or the lenders drag their feet to the point where it’s too late to get help. So what are you dealing with?

I’m working on a future story on this topic so if you have concerns send me an e-mail.

And remember if are going through this process and need help check out this website. You can also call 1-888-995-HOPE if you are having trouble getting a straight answer or dealing with your mortgage company.

For those of you needing help in the Austin area, remember the story I did a few months ago on a non-profit program called Frameworks.

This non-profit hosts free first-time home buyer classes (which I highly recommend because they share information all homeowners should know before they buy) and also provides free foreclosure prevention counseling. You can also call the organization at 512.385.1500.

If you don’t live in Austin and still need help check out these resources:

Homeownership Preservation Foundation (www.995hope.org)

HUD Counseling Services (www.hud.gov) or (800) 569-4287

NeighborWorks America (www.nw.org) or (888) 995-HOPE (4673)

Fannie Mae Counselor Search (www.fanniemae.com)

Credit Counseling Agencies Approved Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 111 (Approved by Department of Justice for bankruptcy filers) (www.doj.gov)

National Foundation for Credit Counseling (www.nfcc.org)

You can also find more help here.