The report, “Struggling to Stay Afloat: Negative Equity in Communities of Color in the Chicago Six County Region,” used data from a major provider of mortgage and home value data to examine patterns of underwater homes in communities of various racial and ethnic compositions in the Chicago six county region in 2011. It found that:
It finds that negative equity is disproportionately concentrated in the Chicago region’s African American, Latino, and majority minority neighborhoods, and that borrowers in communities of color have much lower equity than do borrowers in predominantly white communities. This report concludes with recommendations to reduce the impact of declining property values and the number of homeowners with negative equity, including broader use of principal reduction loan modifications and short sales.
In order to encourage servicers to put borrowers into permanent modifications, Treasury makes incentive payments to servicers for every successful permanent modification. Treasury also makes incentive payments for every successful short sale or deed-in-lieu performed under the Home Affordable Alternatives Program. These incentive payments will be withheld from Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo for second quarter 2011 and could even be permanently withheld if the servicers fail to improve next quarter.
The person familiar with Litton said he had examined loans that met the criteria for a government modification, but were denied it, sometimes because Litton employees made mistakes in how they calculated the borrower’s income. Other loans were denied the modification on the grounds that documents were missing, even though Litton’s computer system reflected receipt of the necessary paperwork, the person added.