Foreclosure is more profitable than helping homeowners

The New York Times has a piece which is a must read, Lucrative Fees May Deter Efforts to Alter Loans :

Many mortgage companies are reluctant to give strapped homeowners a break because the companies collect lucrative fees on delinquent loans.

Even when borrowers stop paying, mortgage companies that service the loans collect fees out of the proceeds when homes are ultimately sold in foreclosure. So the longer borrowers remain delinquent, the greater the opportunities for these mortgage companies to extract revenue — fees for insurance, appraisals, title searches and legal services.

The Boston Fed found (testimony, pdf):

only about 3 percent of the seriously delinquent borrowers in our sample received payment reducing loan modifications in the year subsequent to their first 60-day delinquency

and this quote is astounding, it's more profitable to have homeowners get into big financial trouble:

When borrowers fall behind, mortgage companies typically collect late fees reaching 6 percent of the monthly payments.

“For many subprime servicers, late fees alone constitute a significant fraction of their total income and profit,” said Diane E. Thompson, a lawyer for the National Consumer Law Center, in testimony to the Senate Banking Committee this month. “Servicers thus have an incentive to push homeowners into late payments and keep them there: if the loan pays late, the servicer is more likely to profit.”

She cited Ocwen Financial, which reported that nearly 12 percent of its income in 2007 came from fees to borrowers.

Now explain to me again how we do not need a Consumer Financial Protection Agency?

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