AHMSI Rejects ACORN Criticism, Says It Joined Obama Program

I noted Friday, July 10 that ACORN chief organizer (CEO) Bertha Lewis lashed out at President Obama for choosing a finance executive who refused to be bullied by the activist group to be a fund manager in a toxic assets program.

Lewis identified the executive as Invesco’s Wilbur Ross. Ross controls American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. which ACORN described as one of the “Homewrecker 4” for its failure to participate in an Obama adminstration mortgage restructuring program.

Christine Sullivan of American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc., said the company joined Obama’s program on July 10 after months on negotiations with the Treasury Department and Fannie Mae. Here is the statement she emailed me:

ACORN’s public statement Friday asserting that American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. is not participating in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) was misleading. Had they bothered to check the facts, they would have learned that AHMSI management had been working with Fannie Mae and the Department of the Treasury for months on joining the HAMP program and reached that goal earlier today. We even received a note from Treasury stating, “Thanks for all your hard work on this, we appreciate your flexibility and perseverance in getting across the finish line.”

We share President Obama’s goal of helping struggling homeowners who want to stay in their homes. Since his announcement of the program in early March, we have had a dedicated team of associates working out implementation details. They have been addressing the changes to our computer systems, work flows, training and processes – all necessary steps to implementing the guidelines smoothly for our borrowers.

As a member of the HOPE NOW Alliance, AHMSI has developed a successful loan modification program that has been in place since the company’s founding in April 2008. All loans are reviewed for eligibility for a loss mitigation workout if the borrower wants to stay in the home and demonstrates the ability to afford a reasonable workout solution.

During the 12 months ended June 2009, AHMSI has completed more than 64,000 loan modifications, with about 37,000 of those in 2009. In 86 percent of AHMSI modifications, borrowers experienced a payment reduction. The average reduction was $544, or 30.5 percent. The company anticipates that loan modifications under the HAMP program will likewise result in similar payment reductions for borrowers.

I’ve asked Ms. Sullivan if Wilbur Ross or any of the businesses he now controls or any of their charitable foundations have ever donated to ACORN or any of its affiliates or plan to do so in the future.

If I receive a response, I’ll post it. 

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