This week, the Obama administration summoned mortgage company executives to Washington to demand they move faster to lower payments for homeowners sliding toward foreclosure. Treasury officials called on the companies to hire and train more people quickly to field applications for relief.But industry insiders and legal experts say the limited capacity of mortgage companies is not the primary factor impeding the government’s $75 billion program to prevent foreclosures. Instead, it is that many mortgage companies are reluctant to give strapped homeowners a break because the companies collect lucrative fees on delinquent loans.Even when borrowers stop paying, mortgage companies that service the loans collect fees out of the proceeds when homes are ultimately sold in foreclosure. So the longer borrowers remain delinquent, the greater the opportunities for these mortgage companies to extract revenue — fees for insurance, appraisals, title searches and legal services.
By Peter S. Goodman, July 30, 2009 NYT

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