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For Mortgage Servicers, an Incentive Not to Help Homeowners – NYTimes.com

February 17, 2012 Leave a comment

This is an article from 2009 that explains why banks keep homeowners in seemingly never ending trial modifications. This is what happened to Susan Leonard and Michele Varney who were both granted trial modifications with Bank of America.

But industry insiders and legal experts say the limited capacity of mortgage companies is not the primary factor impeding the government’s $75 billion program to prevent foreclosures. Instead, it is that many mortgage companies are reluctant to give strapped homeowners a break because the companies collect lucrative fees on delinquent loans.

Even when borrowers stop paying, mortgage companies that service the loans collect fees out of the proceeds when homes are ultimately sold in foreclosure. So the longer borrowers remain delinquent, the greater the opportunities for these mortgage companies to extract revenue — fees for insurance, appraisals, title searches and legal services.

“It frustrates me when I see the government looking to the servicer for the solution, because it will never ever happen,” said Margery Golant, a Florida lawyer who defends homeowners against foreclosure and who worked in the law department of a major mortgage company, Ocwen Financial. “I don’t think they’re motivated to do modifications at all. They keep hitting the loan all the way through for junk fees. It’s a license to do whatever they want.”

For Mortgage Servicers, an Incentive Not to Help Homeowners – NYTimes.com.