August 24, 2014

Banks causing HAMP backlog

July 31,2014 – Mortgage servicers such as JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup are causing a backlog of requested mortgage modifications by not processing Home Affordable Modification Program applications in a timely manner, according to a report from the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

HAMP is a federal program meant to assist eligible home owners with loan modifications on their home mortgages, which was created in 2009.

The report found the number of borrowers waiting for an application response rose by 65 percent between November and May, according to Bloomberg. The article named 10 delinquent servicers in particular, and specified Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC as the lender with the largest backlog of unprocessed applications – saying it has not processed 61,000 applications. Bloomberg said homeowners are supposed to receive a response within a month.

Earlier this month, SunTrust Mortgage paid $320 million in order to resolve the Justice Department's investigation into its misleading of homeowners interested in HAMP – in particular, misrepresenting how long it would take to determine a borrower's qualifications for the program.

Last December, the CFPB along with 49 states and D.C. filed a proposed court order for Ocwen Financial Corporation – of which Ocwen Loan Servicing is a subsidiary – to pay $2 billion to underwater homeowners, as well as $125 million to the almost 185,000 borrowers who have already been foreclosed upon, in light of its misconduct and violations, including charging unauthorized fees and giving consumers false or misleading information.