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Bill Radke: A report card on the federal government’s programs to reduce foreclosures is not good. Just 12 percent of borrowers have gotten lenders to modify their loans. So starting today, the Treasury Department will require financial institutions to say why they reject requests. Reporter Danielle Karson has that.
Danielle Karson: One in 12 mortgage loans are circling the foreclosure drain, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Housing advocates say when banks reject a loan modification without a reason, a borrower can’t make needed changes. Now that banks will have to explain why a modification didn’t go through, it will help because:
Kathleen Day: The public will start to get a sense of why these loan modifications aren’t happening faster, and on a bigger scale.
That’s Kathleen Day with the Center for Responsible Lending. She cautions the new requirement can only help so much.
Day: Unless there is some stick that says that if you don’t do it, someone else is gonna do it for you, the pace really won’t pick up to where it needs to be.
Advocates say bankruptcy judges should be allowed to force banks to modify loans. A spokesman for the American Bankers Association says a big reason lenders often deny a loan modification is that the borrower is out of work.
In Washington, I’m Danielle Karson for Marketplace.