Are some owners purposelly falling behind?

Housing experts are growing increasingly alarmed that programs to bail out troubled home owners might have the unintended consequence of encouraging people to miss mortgage payments in order to qualify for easier loan terms.

Such initiatives typically require that borrowers be 60 to 90 days late on payments to get a mortgage reworked.

In an attempt to prevent abuses, lenders are scrutinizing home owners’ financial status–by poring over tax records, pay stubs, investment accounts, and bank statements–to determine if they really need a loan modification to avoid foreclosure.

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