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What kind of help is this?

The government has finally confirmed what many private economists and consumer groups, not to mention millions of frustrated homeowners, have been telling us.

Lenders simply aren’t serious about modifying unaffordable mortgages.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision studied 35 million mortgages and found that only about a third of the modifications made in the final three months of the year reduced the payments by more than 10%.

Incredibly, nearly one in four modifications actually increased the payments on borrowers who approached their lenders for help.

And this was after the Bush administration committed $750 billion of our money to save the banking industry from collapse.

It was also after the banking industry and its HOPE Now campaign repeatedly claimed it was doing so much for borrowers with deceptive adjustable-rate loans save their homes from foreclosure.

Ha.

The mortgage servicing companies and investors who own most loans have done precious little to fix the recession-causing, job-wrecking, foreclosure-exploding mortgage crisis they had a big hand in creating.

It also goes a long way toward explaining why so many modified mortgages have fallen back into default.

The study found that half of modified loans in which the payment was unchanged or increased were late again within nine months, compared with only one in four loans that had their payments lowered by 10% or more.

Note to President Obama: Stop giving the financial industry billions of taxpayer dollars and if it keeps treating us like dirt.

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