Foreclosure Auctions Up While Modifications Stall.
According to the most recent numbers provided by Realty Trac, foreclosure auctions were up significantly in the month of November. Continuing the trend from October and September, New York and New Jersey both saw an increase in scheduled auctions.
Unfortunately for home owners, the banks have not fixed the mistakes nor have they eliminated the bureaucratic road blocks that have hindered the success of the government’s Making Home Affordable Program, and in turn, have caused hardworking people to lose their homes. The Treasury Department recently scolded JP Morgan Chase for rejecting eligible homeowners for modifications. This was the third time this year that Chase was criticized for their failure to help out homeowners. Other banks such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Ocwen were criticized earlier in the year, but all were able to improve their practices as the year went along. Furthermore, a recent Reuter’s article (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/18/us-usa-housing-foreclosures-idUSTRE7BH0C220111218) described the struggles of a couple of Staten Island homeowners.
What makes it worse is that some home owners still think that a modification is a do-it-yourself project or decide to hire a company that will only take their money and waste their time. Within the past month the federal government has shut down over 100 New York based companies that advertised modification help, yet did nothing but take non-suspecting homeowner’s money. Most homeowners are struggling to keep up with their work obligations and family life, and therefore, do not have the time necessary to conduct a modification on their own. A homeowner must be in constant contact with the bank to make sure that the requested documents are received, and they must understand that no homeowner’s financial situation is the same. Homeowners must also anticipate the problems that will arise with their file. For example, if a homeowner states that they are collecting rental income, they must be able to prove it by showing unexpired rental agreements and either rental receipts or deposit of rental income.