WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 9, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) wrote to the Obama Administration today regarding high foreclosure rates in Ohio and the need to improve foreclosure mitigation efforts that help Americans stay in their homes. Brown pointed to the need to improve the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) so that it helps more Ohio families avoid foreclosure by allowing them to refinance their mortgages and achieve lower monthly payments.
“Rather than being driven by subprime mortgages as in past years, foreclosures now come as the result of more systemic problems like unemployment and medical bills,” Brown wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. “In the face of these sobering statistics, I am concerned that not enough is being done to address the foreclosure problem and the burden will ultimately be put on families and entire communities.”
Brown pointed to the foreclosure crisis in Ohio as need to improve federal efforts that help Americans avoid foreclosure.
“National figures indicate that one in seven mortgages is now past due. Northeast Ohio, considered by many to be the front line of the subprime mortgage crisis, has been particularly hard hit. Just last week my own local paper reported a record number of foreclosures in Lorain County in 2009.”
Brown requested that improvements be made to the HAMP program, which was designed to encourage banks to modify mortgages to prevent foreclosures. Fewer than 10 percent of temporary mortgage modifications have been converted into permanent modifications under the program, and Ohio has had a success rate of less than 8 percent. Brown also urged more federal funding for foreclosure prevention counseling programs.