Report: Default Rate on HAMP Mods High

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The high re-default rate on mortgages modified through the government's Home Affordable Modification Program is mostly because of borrowers who received the smallest reduction in payments through the program, are still underwater on their loans, or have subprime credit scores, according to a new report by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Of the nearly 1.2 million mortgages modified through HAMP in the last four years, 306,000 borrowers have re-defaulted on their loans, the report said. More than 88,000 more borrowers are at risk of re-defaulting, too.

The report also found that the longer a home owner stays in the HAMP modification program, the more likely they are to default. Borrowers who have been part of the program since 2009 have a re-defaulting rate of 46 percent.

HAMP helps borrowers by reducing the interest rate on at-risk mortgages, extending loan terms, or reducing mortgage principal. 

"Treasury needs to research why so many borrowers are dropping out of the program," says Christy Romero, the head of SIGTARP.

Source: “Borrowers in Obama housing program re-defaulting, watchdog says,” CNNMoney (July 24, 2013)