The Bad Behavior of Making Home Affordable

by MAK
(Massachusetts, USA)

Ask Kate about the bad behavior of Making Home Affordable: Kate, I asked my lender for help with refinancing under Making Home Affordable and the HARP program but I was denied both. The reason, my gross income was too high.


MAK's story continues... I am a single parent who earns about $61,000 a year. My take home pay after payroll deductions for mandatory retirement of 11% and health insurance etc. is only $748 a week.

My monthly mortgage now is $1,322. I have a 5.5 interest rate and about $160,000 left to pay on my 30 year loan.

On top of denying me a lower interest rate, they also took the opportunity to decide that they had to pay my homeowners insurance in case I defaulted on my loan.

I have no intention of defaulting. Just want help to stay put and manage the expenses better. Thanks for your response.

Kate Answers: The Bad Behavior of Making Home Affordable

***zz-portrait-left.shtml*** Dear MAK, You would think I'd heard everything.

Then I get a letter like yours and all I can do is sigh.

Once my insurance company refunded me too much money after my prescription purchase. But when I sent back the overpayment, they got their wires crossed with a pending reimbursement and cancelled payment to me.

I was quite disgusted but figured I'd better leave well enough alone. So I ate the price of the 2nd prescription.

Now I know this is peanuts compared to what you've gone through. I'm just saying large institutions including the government are not good at listening or responding.

Refinances and Modifications with Home Affordable Program

Mortgage modifications and refinances that fall under Making Home Affordable (program of Treasury Department and HUD) remind me of a small child who is punished for misbehaving and told to apologize. But all that comes out is a muttered "sorry".

The government has leaned on the large lenders (such as yours) to right their wrongs to homeowners and do their part in preventing an even larger collapse of the real estate market.

But what did homeowners end up with? Look at your experience. Or the people who were told to default on their mortgage before a modification could even be considered. Unreasonable modification terms. Homeowners lost in the system.

To me this signals insincerity and reluctance on the part of large lending institutions. It's as if they are saying, "We're only offering mortgage modifications and refinances under Making Home Affordable because the government insists, not because we want to."

Don't get me wrong. I'm thankful for homeowners who have benefited from HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) and HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program). But what about the rest like you?

Squeaky Wheel Gets The Refinance

Well MAK, I'm mostly commiserating with you, aren't I? But here is one solution that comes to mind. Instead of wading through more murky waters with your big box lender, write your representative in Congress. Then email. Then text. Then call. Because it's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.

But do this first -pick your battles. Do you want the Making Home Affordable HARP or HAMP? Or to the right to pay your own homeowner's insurance premium once more? Decide this first. ***zzz-link-harp-news.shtml***

Comment and Link To This Page

MAK, one more thing. Is this page is helpful to you? I'd like to hear back from you.

Update: Just added as Part II to MAK's questions - Special Edition of 13 Making Home Affordable Options.

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Best wishes,
Back to more Ask Kate Questions and Answers at Loan Modification - Home Affordable HARP and HAMP - Strategic Default - Real Estate Short Sale - FHA Short Refinance Q & A from The Bad Behavior of Making Home Affordable

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Part II to MAK's questions
by: Ask Kate

Update: Go here for Part II to MAK's questions - Special Edition of 13 Making Home Affordable Options.

-- Kate

follow up question for Kate
by: MAK

Thank you for your answer Kate - you ask if I want HARP or HAMP and I am not sure. I want a lower interest rate to reduce my monthly payment. My lender made me think I was not eligible because of my gross income vs. my current loan amount. Are they just jerking me around? I was planning to try a mortgage broker and see if they can help. Should I try that first before writing to my congressman? Thanks again.

Hi MAK, I actually meant - do you want to battle the mortgage issue or the insurance issue. I don't think it is left up to you to choose between HARP and HAMP. I believe if you don't qualify for HARP refinancing, you are moved onto the modification program, HAMP.

I also think Making Home Affordable still offers the option of going through another lender if yours won't or can't help out with HARP.

I want to take another look at the Making Home Affordable website later today because it appears to me that there may have been some recent changes.

So check back for another comment later this afternoon. You'll find it by coming back to The Bad Behavior of Making Home Affordable.

Until then, Kate

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