Inside these posts: Mortgage modification

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Less progress on mortgage mods in Chicago

The number of delinquent Chicago-area borrowers in permanent mortgage loan modifications fell in December for the first time since the government started its program to help troubled consumers keep their homes.

According to Treasury Department data released Monday, 27,121 local borrowers have received permanent loan modifications since the Home Affordable Modification Program began 21 months ago, compared with 27,176 in November. Get the full story »

FTC rule cracks down on mortgage mod outfits

Hoping to cut down on fraud and scams tied to the mortgage crisis, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is tightening rules for companies and attorneys who perform loan modification and foreclosure rescue services. Get the full story »

Pace of mortgage mods continues to slow

The number of Chicago-area homeowners who received permanent mortgage modifications rose last month, topping 25,000, but the pace at which consumers are being added to that group has slowed dramatically.

The government’s monthly accounting of its Home Affordable Modification Program showed that in the Chicago area, the 25,001 mortgages that received permanently lower payment terms was a 3.1 percent increase from September. On a percentage basis, that’s the smallest monthly gain of the year, and a dramatic drop from the high double-digit gains recorded earlier this year. Get the full story »

More unlicensed mortgage firms exposed

Eleven Chicago-area companies were cited Thursday by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for offering mortgage loan modifications to consumers without a license.

The companies ordered to stop offering loan medications and pay a fine of $25,000 each were Opportunity Consultants; Carrey Services; American Accurate Services; Gamez & Associates Ltd.; Juan Hernandez; Home Loan Modification; Homeowner’s Advocates Centers; Imperium Realty Group; Mortgage Mitigators; Mi Familia; and Loan Rescue Corp. Get the full story »

Wells Fargo to modify ARMs in Illinois, 7 other states

At least 531 Illinois homeowners will be offered mortgage loan modifications by Wells Fargo Bank after an investigation into allegedly deceptive marketing of payment option adjustable rate mortgages.

Illinois and seven other states investigated Wachovia and Golden West’s marketing of pay-option ARMs, potentially risky loan products because they allow borrowers to pay only a minimum payment, with the rest of the funds due added to the balance of the loan, which eventually resets at much higher required payments. Wells Fargo owns Wachovia and Golden West. Get the full story »

Fed must do its part for economy, Bernanke says

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Thursday the U.S. economic recovery remains disappointingly slow with unemployment too high.

The Fed has a role to play in returning the economy health, he told teachers at a town-hall event.

“We certainly have in the near term and the medium term…some very difficult challenges,” he said. Get the full story »

Later mortgage modifications turning out better

Homeowners who had mortgages modified recently are faring better than those who did so earlier in the housing crisis, according to a report released Tuesday, possibly debunking predictions of a huge wave of defaults to come.

The State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group warned of other troubling signs, however, on the same day that a separate industry report showed the most severe July sales drop-off for previously occupied homes in 15 years. Get the full story »