Quicker mortgage help for homeowners

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: The Obama Administration's foreclosure prevention program has been slow to help homeowners in trouble. But the Treasury Department says it got commitments yesterday from the nation's largest banks and loan servicers to modify more troubled mortgages more quickly. Tamara Keith reports.


Tamara Keith: The Making Home Affordable program is supposed to help 3 million homeowners by modifying their mortgages so they can actually make the payments.

Loan servicers, the companies that collect the checks, are the ones responsible for making that happen. But five months into the program, servicers have helped just 200,000 homeowners. Yesterday's meeting was about speeding up the process and improving customer service.

Paul Leonard is with the Financial Services Roundtable, an industry group:

Paul Leonard: We think that a good working relationship with Treasury and HUD has been developed. You know they want servicers to do more, but they're willing to listen about on how to make the program work better.

But that's not enough for Jim Carr of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition:

Jim Carr: Simply having the servicers gather in a room and say what they've been saying for more than a year now is not very appetizing. It's very unfulfilling.

We'll have a better sense of how the servicers are doing next week. That's when treasury plans to release data about how many loans each of them has modified.

In Washington, I'm Tamara Keith for Marketplace.

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