When the Obama administration announced a massive effort to help distressed homeowners in 2009, it set high expectations. The program, government officials said, would keep up to 4 million borrowers out of foreclosure.
“It will give millions of families resigned to financial ruin a chance to rebuild,” President Obama said at an event announcing the effort. “By bringing down the foreclosure rate, it will help shore up housing prices for everyone.”
Six years later, Obama is preparing to leave office and the Home Affordable Modification Program is scheduled to accept its final applications on Friday having helped a small fraction of the homeowners government officials initially expected. About 1.6 million borrowers have seen their mortgage payments lowered through the program so far, but about a third of those people eventually fell behind on their payments again.
“The president set out an ambitious goal that wasn’t met,” said Kevin Stein, deputy director of the California…
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