Mod Program Revamped Again

Bureaucrats have struggled to get the Home Affordable Modification Program to work -- and they may finally be getting somewhere.

The latest changes to the program, released on Thursday, clarify document requirements that have tied up hundreds of thousands of people already on the brink of losing their homes.

The Home Affordable program is designed to help 3 to 4 million homeowners avoid foreclosure by 2012. By the end of 2009, more than 903,000 homeowners had begun process by getting trial loan modifications through the program. Of those, just 110,000 have been approved for permanent modifications -- and much of that activity was squeezed into the last days of 2009. And a large chunk of those approved permanent mods were still waiting on signed final documents to be returned.

Why are there still so many many trial modifications compared to permanent ones?