Loan modification: Needed help or an exercise in frustration?


How well is the government's loan modification working? Find out in this four-part WalletPop special report, which begins with this overview and continues with three profiles of those trying to get help, which can be found here, here and here.

If the goal of the federal government's loan modification program was to frustrate applicants, then it certainly is succeeding. But if its goal was to prevent foreclosures, the effort may simply be postponing that eventuality for many.

With an estimated 3.1 million mortgages at least two months delinquent, through the end of October, just 650,994 homeowners had received adjustments through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) -- a notable uptick from past reports and a measurable step toward the Obama administration's goal of helping 4 million by 2012.

But from the halls of Congress to Internet message boards, anger rises about mixed messages, delays and denials without explanation and, most tangibly, the sharp decline in converting short-term loan adjustments into something more meaningful.