Foreclosure Relief Sunlight

Where Are the Foreclosure Deal Millions Going in Your State? - ProPublica

I know, this is national news and I really strive to focus on matters local to the Charlottesville area, but this is striking (and sadly not surprising).

$66.5 Million: The amount of money Virginia received as part of the massive mortgage settlement in April 2012.

$7 Million: The amount of that used for homeowners.

$59.5 Million: “The AG turned over the entirety of the funds to the state legislature without stipulations on how it could be spent.”

And then there’s this:

A must-read piece of investigative journalism from ProPublica reveals that there was little to no oversight to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), mortgage services did almost whatever they wanted, the government neither noticed nor cared, and taxpayers and homeowners are getting robbed.

The documents also show how the Treasury Department coddled servicers that weren’t complying with the program’s rules. Once a year, servicers are required to certify that they are complying with the program’s rules. But servicers define for themselves what it means to comply. A company that admits violating the rules is allowed to merely submit a cover letter with their certification stating the exceptions and how it would fix the problems.

One of our requests has dragged on for more than two years, and even after all that time, the department continues to withhold certain documents, though it says it intends to turn over more. (See here for a full index of the documents we’ve obtained so far. If we receive more, we will add them to our collection when we receive them.)

In some cases, the Treasury even withheld the documents of servicers who never objected to their release. When ProPublica informed the Treasury that certain servicers had said they had no objection to releasing the documents, the Treasury finally turned them over.

The election’s over. Nothing has changed and likely won’t.

But if your disillusionment is less than mine, find out who your legislator is and ask him or her why/how they’re squandering these funds.Disclosure: I just donated a few dollars to ProPublica, because I’m not seeing this depth of reporting anywhere else.

And some brief, good news with respect to foreclosures in Charlottesville and Albemarle, courtesy of RealtyTrac:

Albemarle County Foreclosure Rate and Foreclosure Activity Information | RealtyTrac

Charlottesville-VA Foreclosure Rate and Foreclosure Activity Information | RealtyTrac

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1 Comment

  1. Simon Campbell November 20, 2012 at 12:21

    Clearly HAMP is not living up to the expectations of the program, but why? A key part of HAMP is that although lenders are responsible for reviewing the loan modification applications and sticking to the guidelines put forth by the program, lenders are supposed to be audited to ensure that they are following the guidelines.

    The question is now whether the Obama administration will put the time and effort into not only improving current programs (such as HAMP), but also passing legislation and creating new programs that are designed to help move the housing market forward and provide relief from struggling homeowners. One thing is certain: Housing remains a key issue for Obama at the start of his second term in office.

    Check out more about this by reading this article:


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