Brooklyn Law Review


The mortgage crisis hit the United States hard, leaving millions of homeowners facing hardship and foreclosure. One of many programs enacted during the mortgage crisis was the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The Obama Administration set out to assist three to four million struggling homeowners in modifying their mortgages and avoiding foreclosure. This note examines HAMP, focusing on the years of litigation that shaped HAMP, giving life to a program that was built on a foundation ready to crack. HAMP provided homeowners with modified mortgage payments, typically beginning with a trial period plan. Once completed, homeowners were routinely denied, resulting in a vast number of lawsuits filling the courts with claims ranging from contractual to constitutional. Borrowers that did receive permanent modification often re-defaulted, placing them in the same position they were prior to the modification. This note proposes a solution founded in five core principles: efficiency, affordability, accessibility, accountability, and enforceability. It further recommends utilizing the remaining funds of the since expired HAMP to revamp the program, focusing on each principle both individually and collectively, to ultimately assist the homeowners that are still rearing from the mortgage crisis.