CRA-NC has prepared a video documenting the efforts of North Carolina housing counselors seeking to prompt changes in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
Our motivation was simple: we wanted to get the word out to the leaders in DC that loan modifications have been slow. We wanted to let people hear the voices of housing counselors.
Housing counselors are the foot soldiers in the battle against foreclosures. Housing counselors meet with families that are in trouble. Housing counseling is mainly funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Unfortunately, funding pays for operational costs but not for the sunk costs of office space and utility bills. Counseling agencies are constantly strapped. They cannot charge their clients, and they must outfit their operations to meet HUD standards. Most housing counselors are paid very little, even thought they can make a big difference in keeping a family in their home.
The work is tireless. The work is ground zero for the foreclosure crisis. Housing counselors negotiate with servicers. Housing counselors know what is working, and what is not working.
If you click on the movie below, you'll be able to see a short documentary highlighting the Modify This Tour.
Housing counselors from non-profits across North Carolina rolled out to the Capitol to talk about loan modifications. More than 50 counselors were there, along with staff from CRA-NC and NCHFA. We were joined by ChangeMakers, a community organizing group from Brooklyn, New York. The counselor led the show. They asked the questions and made their opinions known to our invited guest:
- Congressmen Bob Etheridge (D-NC) and David Price (D-NC).
- The Department of the Treasury
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
We look forward to continuing this fight. Change is not instant, but incremental. More foreclosures are expected. HAMP is not working. Our national leadership now acknowledging that the servicers are dragging their feet. They are "not doing a good job," according to Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Michael Barr.