Mortgage renegotiations: Do they work?

A mortgage application

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: We get mortgage industry statistics this morning, and the numbers will include renegotiations of mortgages, people trying to avoid foreclosure. Do they work? Here's Marketplace's Dan Grech.


Dan Grech: A loan modification is a deal struck between a lender and a struggling homeowner. The mortgage rate can be lowered, the life of the loan can be extended, or unpaid principal can be written off.

Hope Now, a nonprofit funded by the mortgage industry, says it's modified 2.7 million loans in the past year and a half. But those loan modifications have been criticized as ineffective. The U.S. comptroller of the currency says that within six months, half the homeowners go back into foreclosure.

Hope Now Executive Director Faith Schwartz says the problem isn't loan modifications -- it's the economy.

Faith Schwartz: Last month alone, we had 500,000 plus jobs lost. There are probably many loans that were modified that will be in those jobs that may redefault.

More layoffs are expected over the holidays -- and more redefaults.

In Miami, I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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