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Foreclosure Defense and Loan Modification Blog

What Is an Ocwen SAM Loan Modification

Posted by Jake Sterling

Monday, January 6, 2014

According to loan modification expert David Ramos, prior to the proliferation of subprime loans and the mass securitization of mortgages, “the loan modification system was a lot more simple.”  The process required a homeowner to contact the mortgage servicer to work out an agreement to change the terms of the loan. What is a SAM loan mod?

During the years leading up to the housing market collapse, banks and other entities started packaging these loans and selling them to investors as mortgage-backed securities. Loans that could previously be traced back to the mortgage lenders were now owned by Wall Street investors, which greatly complicated the traditional loan modification process.

When these mortgages soured and the default rate skyrocketed, the event contributed to the financial crisis that occurred in 2008. Subsequently, taxpayers’ bailed out of big banks to the tune of $750 billion.

In March 2009, the Obama Administration introduced the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). After the first year results of HAMP filtered in, it became obvious that the program was not working as intended.

In 2010, while many mortgage servicers spent time answering to allegations of incompetency regarding the processing of loan modification requests, Florida-based Ocwen created an innovative program called the Shared Appreciation Modification or SAM.

The scheme not only provide clients the opportunity to have the terms of their original mortgage modified, but included a principal reduction program.

Details of SAM program

SAM would forgive the balance of the mortgage up to 95 percent of the prevailing market value. In exchange, whenever the homeowner pay off the loan—sell or refinance—the homeowner would  share 25% of the home’s appreciation that occurs after the loan modification with the lender.

Ocwen would forgive the balance in one-half increments on an annual basis. The initial results showed the program to be a loan modification success story.

  • 79 percent of borrowers continued in the program
  • 2.63 percent of the borrowers went back into default

Based on the positive results, Ocwen extended the program to the 33 states that allow the plan.  The bank completes between 2,000 and 3,000 new SAM applications each month.

Advantages of SAM

The 2013 Ocwen SAM loan modification program represents an excellent example of a lender catering to the needs of its clients. SAM not only provides immediate financial relief to troubled borrowers, but the principal reduction aspect, which is missing from  the HAMP, provides a powerful incentive for borrowers to stay in their homes and not exit their mortgages. 

In June 2012, a study of the program conducted by Erik Hembre, a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, found that 94.3 percent of borrowers receiving SAM had not “exited the mortgage.”

 In comparison, data from other loan modification groupings reveal that homeowners sold their homes, obtained refinancing or defaulted at higher rates. Only 71.5 percent of homeowners who did not receive any loan modification relief remained in their mortgages.

Under SAM, keeping borrowers in their home is a “win-win” for lenders, the communities and the nation

SAM provides model for HAMP

Many loan modification experts believe that the 2013 Ocwen SAM loan modification program may be "the solution" that has eluded mortgage lenders and politicians in Washington. It  provide financial relief for millions of borrowers saddled with underwater and a chance to regain lost equity. Ocwen Loan Modifcation

Ramos states that if he were President Obama and could revisit the decision making process behind HAMP, instead of bailing out the big banks, he would have  use the funds to entice investor holding the “bad loans” to offer homeowners  principal reduction as part of the loan modification.

Then, investors would receive a percentage based on the amount of the principal reduction. Ramos is a strong advocate of remodeling the current HAMP after SAMs.

Hembre agrees, saying that “the SAM program shows that the Ocwen SAM’s have a significant negative impact on default rates.” Like Ramos, Hembre believes SAM needs some refinement.

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photo credit: Scoobymoo via photopin cc

Topics: loan modification attorney, ocwen loan modification

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About this Blog

Amerihope Alliance Legal Services is a leading loan modification and foreclosure defense law firm with attorneys licensed in 5 states. We have helped over 7,000 homeowners fight back and keep their homes.

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Our goal is to provide valuable information to help homeowners who are trying to obtain a loan modification or to stop foreclosure. You may schedule a free consultation at any time.

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