The World

The Obama administration will go on the offensive this week, pressuring banks to help more U.S. homeowners bring down their mortgage payments. The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is intended to help homeowners cut the amount of interest they are paying on their mortgages. But consumers face two big hurdles. First, many homeowners are having difficulty gaining access to the HAMP program. One such homeowner is Takeaway listener Julie Gonzales, who joins us from Royal Oak, Mich. She applied for HAMP and was turned down. Second, those who are able to enter the trial modification program are finding it difficult to make their modifications permanent. Louise Story, finance reporter for our partner The New York Times, says that while the Obama administration says banks aren’t doing a good enough job helping homeowners, the banks are fighting back. They say the government’s plan is flawed, and that most consumers need a lot more then just reduced interest payments.

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