Not Much Hope Now

The NYT checks in to see how the much-vaunted Hope Now coalition of mortgage lenders is doing, and you probably won’t be surprised at the results:

Kenneth Goodman, a homeowner in Fontana, Calif,. said he did not have a good experience trying to get help through Hope Now.

Mr. Goodman, 53, said he had called Hope Now three times in recent months because he was struggling to pay the mortgage on his two-story tract home. The first time he was referred to a mortgage escrow company. The second time, “I got someone oblivious to everything,” he said. The third time the counselor told Mr. Goodman that he had a choice: Sell his home for less than the value of his mortgage, or face immediate foreclosure.

“It was all unhelpful,” Mr. Goodman said. He worries that he will lose his home.

There are Hope Now success stories, but the group declined to point to any.

If it wasn’t obvious at the time, Hope Now turns out to have been largely a way for politicians and lenders to say that they were doing something, rather than a real attempt to provide a partial solution to the mortgage problem. At the margin, it’s probably done more good than harm. But nothing worthy of Presidential announcements and all the other folderol which accompanied its launch.

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