Administration Offers New Web Portal to Streamline Loan Modification Process
The Hope Now Alliance hasrnlaunched a new website in a further attempt to work through some of thernwrinkles that have plagued both the Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) andrnother loan modification programs.
The site, nicknamed HOPE LoanPort is locatedrnat http://www.hopeloanportal.org/,rnand is designed to assist homeowners to assess their eligibility for a loanrnmodification, apply for assistance, and submit the documents required for modificationrnassistance. Loan counselors will be ablernto collect documents from borrowers, upload the completed application package,rnsubmit it directly to servicers, and track the status of each borrower'srnapplication, all on-line.
HUD believes thernnew site has the potential to significantly improve the execution ofrnmodifications by providing the following benefits:
- Eliminate lostrndocuments. It is designed to address addressesrnservicer challenges in receiving applications, and counselor challenges inrnsending applications and documentation.
- Standardization – The siternwill collect complete HAMP applications that include all required data elementsrnand documentation;
- Communication – Servicers can update the status of in-processrnmodifications;
- Efficiencyrn- Improves servicer efficiency in completing modifications;
- Transparencyrn- Increases accountability and transparency for all stakeholders;
HAMP has come underrnwidespread criticism over the last six months because of its low conversionrnrate. While nearly 1.2 million homeowners have entered into the three monthrntrial period required to test the feasibility of their modifications, onlyrn230,000 had been converted to permanent status by the end of March. Thernservicers who operate the program have blamed borrowers for not providingrnrequired documents while borrowers and counselors have complained thatrnservicers are mismanaging the data and losing documents. The new portal is onernof several changes announced over the past months to improve the conversionrnrate.
While the new website isrndesigned primarily as a management tool for mortgage counselors, there arernseveral features for homeowners. An interactivernself-assessment tool allows a homeowner to answer a set of six questions aboutrnincome and mortgage payments and immediately scores their answers. While it isrnup to servicers to make a final determination of eligibility, homeowners can thenrnfill out a preliminary application for help on line. The site also offers linksrnto a long list of HUD approved mortgage counselors and features a Federal TradernCommission produced video warning visitors of the characteristics and prevalencernof foreclosure scams.
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