WASHINGTON-- Only a year ago, hopes were high that a big push by the government to stop foreclosures would be a great success, living up to its billing as “Help for America’s Homeowners.”Last January started out with a foreclosure moratorium, allowing time for the Obama Administration to put the final touches on Making Home Affordable — its $75 billion signature program aimed at helping 3 to 4 million homeowners. After bailing out banks and the financial system, the administration turned its efforts to borrowers on the verge of losing their homes. The program rolled out with fanfare in the spring. But as 2010 begins, it is already clear that Making Home Affordable has fallen far short of its goals.
WASHINGTON — A top Democrat on Monday warned the nation’s banks that, unless they get more aggressive in modifying mortgages to prevent foreclosure, Congress will renew previous efforts to empower families to keep their homes through bankruptcy. But U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the upper-chamber’s second-ranking Democrat, also gave the banks three months to comply with his ultimatum — a span over which roughly 1 million new homeowners are projected to enter foreclosure.