Few helped by mortgage modification program

AP / file

Two years ago, President Obama introduced a plan meant to help millions of homeowners avoid foreclosure. CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker has been looking into it -- and finds that mortgage modification isn't working as planned.

The house in Compton is not just home to Donnie Hines. For 16 years it's been her pride and joy -- filled with memories.

"A lot of good memories here, the kids had their birthday parties, they put the jumper in the back, those things," she said.

She never missed a mortgage payment until she lost her job as manager of a medical company two years ago. She first sought help at one of these events run by NACA, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America.

With so many Americans struggling to make home payments, the non-profit is staging events around the country bringing together borrowers and lenders to work out loan modifications -- the homeowners so desperate they often line up through the night to get in.

Hines originally did get a modified loan under HAMP, the Home Affordable Modification Program established by the Obama administration. But after two years of her bank requiring ever more paperwork, even misplacing paperwork, when she went back to the event this year they told her she's long-time unemployed, she doesn't qualify for help.

"I don't think I've done anything wrong, I've done everything right," she said. "I feel this is the problem of the bank."

Hines is one of almost 2 million Americans in or facing foreclosure. The government's HAMP program was set up with almost $30 billion in federal funds, designed to help 3 to 4 million people through this current foreclosure crisis, but so far HAMP has spent only $1.2 billion and helped only 670,000 homeowners.

"The president had bailed out the big banks, and now the big banks don't wanna bail out the little people," Hines said.

Donnie Hines says she's going to fight and pray to keep her house.

"They can take me out of this house but they cannot take the memories and that's what I'll hold on to," she said.