Kramer and Kaslow issue statement about Home Assistance Modification Program not working and being voted by The House of Representatives to be shut down.
The House of Representatives voted recently to end the Home Assistance Modification Program (HAMP), arguing along party lines that the program simply does not work. Even the most optimistic observer has to acknowledge that the program has not succeeded nearly as well as was initially promised when President Obama declared that the program would aid three to four million Americans. As of today, the most generous assessment puts the number of those helped at less than 600,000 people.
Philip A. Kramer, an attorney of Kramer & Kaslow who currently leads several of the largest lawsuits ever assembled against lenders for their alleged misbehavior in the market crisis, believes that the failure of HAMP is all too predictable. Kramer posits, “There is no accountability. The HAMP Program is entirely voluntary. Without fines, without oversight, well, the results are not hard to predict.”
The results have been consistently dreadful. According to a recent New York Times article, “The companies that service mortgages, typically large banks, continually lose homeowner paperwork and incorrectly tell homeowners that they must be delinquent to qualify.”
Philip Kramer is not surprised. “My clients report enormous frustration in dealing with the banks. Losing paperwork. Never talking to the same person twice. Most of the people who come to me have spent months and months – or longer – trying to work things out with the lender on their own.”
The New York Times agrees, “Interviews with a dozen homeowner applicants in four states reveal a familiar pattern: Banks deny many who, by income and credit scores, appear to qualify. And homeowners end up weighed down by legal fees and facing foreclosure.”
According to Kramer, the system is completely dysfunctional. A few Bank of America employees spoke to the New York Times anonymously, fearful of employer retaliation. “Bank of America, these employees say, routinely loses documents,” says Kramer. “One department does not talk to another. Applications drag on for more than a year. Sometimes the bank forecloses while homeowners are paying modified loans. And homeowners who are denied will face an imposing bundle of late fees and back-payments.”
Some Treasury officials privately blame the homeowners themselves. This infuriates Philip Kramer who says, “The clients who come to me arrive at my office with reams of paper. They have done everything in their power to get help. It is the banks who have failed here. Pure and simple. Court filings bear this out.”
As foreclosures continue to increase in ever greater numbers, one thing does seem clear: government programs aren’t working. Unless new legislation arrives – and that seems unlikely – homeowners are just going to have to seek help elsewhere.
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