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Fun With Numbers

by Peter G. Miller
February 15th, 2008

Speaking before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Treasury Secretary told the assembled salons that “the HOPE NOW effort is making progress.

“According to updated statistics, in the second half of 2007 the industry assisted 869,000 homeowners, including 545,000 subprime borrowers who received loan modifications and repayment plans. The progress rate is accelerating; the number of subprime modifications in the fourth quarter doubled over the rate in the third quarter. In Q4 alone, of the estimated 1.5 million homeowners of all types delinquent 60 or more days, over 470,000 received help from their servicer and almost 30 percent of those received a loan modification.”

How, exactly, did the industry assist 869,000 homeowners?

If 869,000 homeowners were “assisted” and 470,000 received “help” what happened to the 399,000 who were assisted but received no help?

If 1.5 million homeowners were delinquent and 470,000 received help, what happened to the 1,030,000 delinquent homeowners who were not helped?

If 545,000 homeowners received “loan modifications and repayment plans,” how many had loans modified and how many received short-term repayment plans? How many repayment places resulted in higher monthly costs?

If 545,000 homeowners received “loan modifications and repayment plans” and “over 470,000 received help from their servicer and almost 30 percent of those received a loan modification,” who or what helped the 75,000 who were not helped by loan servicers?

How many of the people who received “help” were told to sell their homes?

How many of the 869,000 “assisted” homeowners received anything other than phone calls and mail?

If there were an “estimated 1.5 million homeowners of all types delinquent 60 or more days” then why was HUD only able to refinance 412 delinquent conventional borrowers in January?

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