Posts Tagged ‘senator olympia snowe’

Sens Franken and Snowe Sponsor Amendment To Create Office of the Homeowner Advocate

Senator Franken, the junior senator from Minnesota, and Senator Olympia Snowe of main, along with several other senate colleagues have sponsored an amendment to the financial reform bill that would create the Office of the Homeowner Advocate.  This office would assist homeowners who believe that their servicer is dealing unfairly with them as they proceed through the HAMP loan modification process.

By now, it is no secret that applying for a HAMP modification is a complex process and is an uphill battle. Today, there is nowhere for homeowners who feel that they’ve been mistreated and denied unfairly by their mortgage servicers during the application process.  With the government working to stop attorneys from helping homeowners navigate through this complex, and yes, adversarial process, the Office of the Homeowner Advocate would be a welcome refuge.

Yet, creating a department within the government simply to deal with the concerns of homeowners trying to save their homes would be a drop in the bucket. There are non profit agencies like NACA out there that assist homeowners, but as we’ve seen, there is really not enough help to go around. Why not create a special license for attorneys who wish to assist homeowners through loan modifications? Getting such a license would cost a certain amount, and the attorney would have to be in good standing with the Bar in his state to apply.

I know that some proposals are in the works for such a license, but included in the terms of that license are caveats that any attorney who assists homeowners to get a loan modification can’t get paid unless and until their loan gets modified. Since the process can take anywhere from six months to a year and a half, how are such attorneys supposed to stay in business?

In closing, it is good that we may have an agency within the government that deals directly and solely with complaints about unfair treatment by mortgage servicers. However, the nature of the crisis requires that more help be made available, and soon.

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