The Plan: Enacted on Oct. 1, Hope for Homeowners was to be the main foreclosure rescue plan from Congress, which allocated $300 billion for the effort. Supporters in Congress, like Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank, said the program would allow hundreds of thousands of borrowers, perhaps millions, to refinance into lower-cost loans by cutting the amount they owed, which for many at-risk-of-default homeowners was more than their house was worth.
The Result: So how many people has Hope for Homeowners saved from foreclosure? Zero. There have been 326 applications in the three months since the program started, but none of those people let alone the nearly 6 million homeowners who, by some estimates, may face foreclosure in the next few years have received a new mortgage or a modification for the one they have. What's more, none of the major mortgage lenders, such as Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, has signed on to the loan-principal-reduction program which gives Hope for Homeowners little chance of being successful anytime soon. "Foreclosure is the problem we have to spend a lot more effort trying to solve," says the Economic Policy Institute's Robert Scott. "We need to put a floor under housing prices, and stopping foreclosures is the way you do that."