Marcus Stanley

Marcus Stanley is the policy director of Americans for Financial Reform. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

Recent Articles

Designed to Fail

The Obama administration's mortgage-modification program was created more to help lenders than homeowners. It's time to reverse priorities.

Two years into its life, the Obama administration's headline housing effort, the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, is struggling, and so are the families it's supposed to help. Well over a million homes have been lost to foreclosure since the HAMP program began, and more than 4 million additional homes are either in the foreclosure pipeline or likely to default over the next few years. But more than 60 percent of seriously delinquent homeowners are never even contacted to discuss help with their mortgage. Even families who manage to keep their home are often burdened by crushing levels of mortgage debt inherited from the housing bubble. More than one in every 10 American mortgage holders has a loan at least 20 percent greater than the value of their home. Yet HAMP has resulted in only about 540,000 permanent modifications to reduce homeowner mortgage payments. These modifications do significantly lower monthly payments (by an average of $527), but the number is modest...