Loan Modifications vs. Unemployment

Posted on November 04 By Francine Huff

Some homeowners who've had mortgage loans modified have ended up in foreclosure anyway. In many of those cases, people who got modifications experienced a drop in income due to a job loss and were unable to keep up with mortgage payments anyway, according to an article in the Record.

Economists now say unemployment is contributing to more people becoming delinquent on mortgage loans than sub-prime mortgages. Unemployment in the U.S. is currently at 9.8%, and more people are expected to lose jobs. Just this week, Johnson & Johnson announced it would cut up to 7% of its workforce, or about 8,000 jobs.

Although mortgage loan modifications have helped some homeowners, a new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston says many mortgage lenders believe that they will recover more from foreclosures than from modified loans. That's because about 30% of homeowners who are behind on mortgage payments are able to begin paying again without help from a mortgage lender.

The Fed study also says about 30% to 45% of people who have mortgages modified are likely to end up missing payments again. Loan modifications simply postpone foreclosure for some people, the study says, and mortgage lenders end up recovering less money when those homes eventually end up in foreclosure.

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