The Wall Street Journal reported this week on the HAMP ramp-up, noting that the number of households benefiting from the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) was up 11% in January and that, overall, about 947,000 households have taken advantage of the government’s foreclosure prevention program.
The article also noted the steps the Treasury is taking to (cattle) prod more lenders into participating:
Prodding lenders to saving more borrowers, the Treasury is publishing monthly comparisons of their performance. As of last month, it said Citigroup Inc. had provided modifications to 50% of the estimated number of eligible borrowers. Both J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo were at 38%, and Bank of America Corp. was at 22%.
In a statement, Bank of America said it had made stronger gains than rivals last month in providing trial modifications and converting trials into permanent fixes.
So maybe, just maybe, there is a glimmer of hope that the Fed’s historically low interest rates are being prodded out of the cold, dead hands of the bankers to reach the folks who really need them?