Hope For Homeowners Act a Failure

Real Estate Attorney with THE ZARETSKY LAW GROUP - Board Certified Real Estate Atty and AUTOMATED LAND TITLE COMPANY

I have many desperate homeowners coming to my office begging for ways to save their homes.  Often times the homeowners qualify under the published criteria for the hyped Hope For Homeowners program also called H4H by the FHA.  The program, passed by Congress in July 2008 was to save the homes of 400,000 homeowners.  So far only 300 or so have applied!  Why?

The program was to start October 1, 2008.  That was pushed back to December 1, 2008 and then December 15, 2008.  The program went through a major re-write to loosen qualification criteria and to give existing lenders a bigger dollar payoff.

Today is December 17th and as NPR reports, the program is a complete failure with not a single loan having been made - or likely to be made.  Listen to the audio report from All Things Considered for the interesting details.

Those that have visited me to hopefully avoid a short sale or foreclosure on their home are devastated. 

Copyright 2008 Richard P. Zaretsky, Esq.

Be sure to contact your own attorney for your state laws, and always consult your own attorney on any legal decision you need to make.  This article is for information purposes and is not specific advice to any one reader.

Richard Zaretsky, Esq., RICHARD P. ZARETSKY P.A. ATTORNEYS AT LAW, 1655 PALM BEACH LAKES BLVD, SUITE 900, WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA 33401, PHONE 561 689 6660  RPZ99@Florida-Counsel.com - FLORIDA BAR BOARD CERTIFIED IN REAL ESTATE LAW - We assist Brokers and Sellers with Short Sales and Modifications and Consult with Brokers and Sellers Nationwide!  Shortsales@Florida-Counsel.com  New Website www.Florida-Counsel.com.  See our easy to find articles at TABLE OF CONTENTS - RICHARD ZARETSKY SHORT SALE ARTICLES


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  1. Gabe Sanders 12/24/2008 11:59 PM
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Cristal Drake
Prudential California Realty - Fullerton, CA
Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate

I just had a friend call me to tell me that their loan mod was denied...they found out when the Notice of Trustee sale was posted on their door.  sigh.

Dec 17, 2008 02:22 PM #1
Steven Wright
Home Real Estate - Aurora, CO
CRS - Home Real Estate - 720-989-5283

Short sales are a huge part of my business in Denver, CO. Leave it to the government to mess up another program.

Dec 17, 2008 02:22 PM #2
Thom Abbott
MyMidtownMojo.com |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Richard...please post this to the Short Sale and Loan Modifications Group! Todd Clark is sending them to Congress, and when he adds and makes another post, I will again forward it to my elected representatives!

This is a mess, a huge mess, and I just hope somebody can figure it out before we all end up in the soup line!

Dec 17, 2008 02:26 PM #3
OK and Associates Realty Plus
Northern Illinois Real Estate - McHenry, IL

Not to metion that Congress made sure that ANY capital gains *with no upper limit* will be shared 50/50 with the government while no such thing was put into any of the bail outs.

Dec 17, 2008 03:01 PM #4
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices


Do you have the idea why it is not working? Is it a problem with the initial idea, or it is an implementation, of both?

If it does not work, is  it a disaster, or the sign that it was not an ill conceived program in the first place?

Dec 17, 2008 03:08 PM #5
Pat Tasker
Shorewest Realtors - Germantown, WI
Your Milwaukee Metro Area Agent (WI)

This is crazy...it is getting worse instead of better.....more and more people are getting into this position...

Dec 17, 2008 03:10 PM #6
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Is this any surprise?  There are few things that the government does well.  Congress and President Bush should be ashamed of themselves for this miserable failure.

Dec 18, 2008 12:40 AM #7
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

I've seen NO hope or help for homeowners.  Just form letters mailed out by the big banks to sellers behind saying they MIGHT be qualified for help.  Are the short sale lenders getting more difficult with approvals because they have had bail-out money handed to them?  I am starting to see more non-forgiveness on short sales.

Dec 18, 2008 10:07 AM #8
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Thom and Ray,

Thank you for mentioning our group and I am working on our next edition tonight and it should be out tomorrow.

Richard, if you include this in the group, I promise to send this on to our congressman!

Todd Clark, Helping Families Home - www.IFoundYourNewHome.com


Jan 06, 2009 02:54 PM #9
Paul Francis
Francis Group Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Agent - Summerlin Homes

I have to agree... we've come across two new home sellers who tried this program which only put them in more dire financial straights as they attempted this route instead of just doing a short sale months ago...

The Govt. is not the solution... No surprise to hear Barney Rubble had input in the program...

Jan 08, 2009 07:07 PM #10
Oliver Wright
ResCom Holdings LLC - Newport Beach, CA

@Jon: The reason(s) it didn't work is that its primary mechanism was a principal writedown, and it was voluntary.

Oliver Wright, Esq.

Mar 25, 2009 02:04 PM #11
Sidney Jimenez
Keller Williams - Miramar, FL
CDPE, Short Sale Expert, 954-665-9449,


I would have to agree with Oliver and Wendy. None of the programs that have been rolled out amounted to anything substantial. To me, there are two things that will or could fix this crisis.

Once would be TIME. Time to let all these loans work through the system and that will take years...YEARS.

The second would be LOWERING THE PRINCIPLE. It is quite evident that the lending and investment institution created the overvaluation of real estate in this country for the last 5 to 6 years. The mortgage levels of all homes need to be readjusted to more realistic or affordable levels. Other than that--nothing will help that majority of homeowners that are in trouble or will be in trouble for decades to come.


Mar 30, 2009 10:03 AM #12
Lynn Krogseng
Keller Williams Premier Partners - Vancouver, WA

2010 - and we are we now? ----- the refrain from an old song comes to mind:

"another day older and deeper in debt!"

May 24, 2010 07:43 PM #13
Rosemary Brooks
BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706 - Stockton, CA
The Mother & Daughter Realty Team

I had the same thought as Lynn - where are we with this program now?  Did the MHA Making Homes Affordable takes its place?  I think it is making a little better assistance to more homeowners.

Nov 29, 2010 11:13 AM #14
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