The latest governmental response to the mortgage mess is an offer for a 30 day hold on foreclosures offered as a voluntary program by six large mortgage servicers. Sorry, folks, but 30 days is not enough time to solve any one family’s housing problem, let alone the country’s problem.
The two things that are necessary to make any meaningful difference in houses lost to foreclosure is 1) a real willingness on the part of lenders to change the terms and perhaps the principle balance on loans, and 2) the manpower to staff a loss mitigation effort. Right now, I’m seeing neither.
Thirty days or an offer to tack the arrears on to the end of the loan does not solve the problem where the house is worth less than is owed or the arrears have arisen on a negatively amortized loan on impossible terms. Those are fundamental, structural problems in the loan. A remedy requires not a Boy Scout with a band aid but a surgeon with a scalpel.