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Loan Modifications

BUSINESS
February 15, 2009 | David Colker
Banks can offer loan modifications or other programs if you're behind -- or will soon be -- on a mortgage. Often the changes involve easing up on the interest rate, at least temporarily, or changing the payment schedule to give you more breathing room. But banks generally will offer these programs only if you have good prospects for paying off the loan eventually. The bank to which you write your mortgage check isn't always calling the shots in these matters.
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BUSINESS
March 13, 2011 | By Kenneth R. Harney, Reporting from Washington
With hundreds of thousands of homeowners having negotiated loan modifications or short sales or been foreclosed upon during the past year, the Internal Revenue Service has issued fresh guidance on how to handle canceled mortgage debt in the upcoming tax season. It's a huge issue, widely misunderstood by consumers and involves potentially billions of dollars of tax liability. Usually, when a creditor cancels debts, such as unpaid balances on student loans or credit cards, the forgiven amounts are treated as ordinary, taxable income by the Internal Revenue Code.
BUSINESS
October 28, 2010 | By Nathaniel Popper, Los Angeles Times
When Meghan Faux, a lawyer and foreclosure counselor in New York, calls JPMorgan Chase & Co. to help a homeowner modify a mortgage, she expects the runaround from representatives unwilling or unable to answer basic questions about the borrower's case. She's more hopeful calling Wells Fargo & Co., which like Chase is one of the three largest mortgage servicers, along with Bank of America Corp. "There's still a long way to go there," Faux said of Wells Fargo. "But they are at least responsive to our concerns.
BUSINESS
December 1, 2009 | By Jim Puzzanghera and E. Scott Reckard
With rising foreclosures still threatening the economy, the Obama administration is trying to pump new life into its much-criticized program to lower payments for homeowners at risk of defaulting on their home loans. Officials unveiled requirements Monday that would step up government scrutiny and threaten fines on banks and other mortgage lenders should they lag in converting temporary mortgage modifications into permanent changes in loan terms and conditions by the end of the year.
BUSINESS
December 11, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard
Accusing Wells Fargo & Co. of reneging on a sweeping mortgage-modification deal, a lawyer for troubled homeowners is trying to reopen a case involving risky "pick-a-pay" loans written during the housing bubble. Legal filings last week claimed Wells Fargo failed to provide wide-ranging reductions of loan balances to delinquent borrowers as it had promised two years ago when it settled a combined national class-action suit. A bank spokeswoman strongly disputed the claim, saying it was riddled with errors.
BUSINESS
December 11, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
Accusing Wells Fargo & Co. of reneging on a sweeping mortgage-modification deal, a lawyer for troubled homeowners is trying to reopen a lawsuit involving risky "pick-a-pay" loans written during the housing bubble. Legal filings last week said Wells had failed to provide wide-ranging reductions of loan balances to delinquent borrowers, as it had promised two years ago, when it settled a combined national class-action suit. A bank spokeswoman disputed the filing, calling it riddled with errors.
BUSINESS
September 5, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo
Since 2007, 5.66 million troubled homeowners have had their mortgages modified and the vast majority of them took place outside the Obama administration's signature foreclosure rescue program, a new report shows. Hope Now -- a Washington group composed of counselors, mortgage companies and investors -- said in its report Wednesday that since 2007 a total of 4.62 million homeowners had received so-called "proprietary" loan modifications -- meaning loans that are not offered through the Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification Program.
BUSINESS
March 10, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard and Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
Bank of America has agreed to reduce the loan balances of underwater homeowners more aggressively than other banks, saying that by next month it will start contacting 200,000 borrowers who may qualify. The pledge is part of a side deal that BofA signed when it and other large providers of mortgage customer service reached a recent $25-billion foreclosure-abuse settlement with state and federal government agencies. Writing down the balance of home loans for underwater borrowers — people who owe more than their homes are worth — is a controversial practice.
BUSINESS
February 2, 2011 | By Mary Ellen Podmolik
Mortgage loan servicers negotiated 1.76 million permanent loan modifications for homeowners last year, but more than two-thirds of them were completed in-house and were not part of the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program. A year-end report Wednesday from Hope Now ? a private-sector group of mortgage servicers, investors, insurers and nonprofit counselors ? showed that mortgage servicers arranged 1.24 million permanent modifications, compared with the 512,712 modifications under the government's more rigorous program.
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