Homeowners Not Receiving Promised Help

The De La Torre family of Los Angeles, Calif. is exactly the type of U.S. family taht President Obama's "Making Home Affordable" program was supposed to help. But the family is facing foreclosure and has been unable to secure a loan modification.
California today imposed a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures. The state has the nation's second-highest foreclosure rate.

The development is good news for those running into a stone wall at the bank despite the Obama administration's plan to help homeowners rewrite their mortgages. CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker heard one family's story.

The De La Torre family had their American dream within their grasp: a house of their own and bright, beautiful children.

But when mom Angelica lost her housekeeping job and dad Angel's hours at a granite company were cut, the family could no longer afford their mortgage at 6.5 percent interest.

The family realized it was facing foreclosure - its dream slipping away.

"My dad always comes back stressed out. He's trying to do a lot of things right now so we can stay with the house," Angel De La Torre, Jr. said.

Losing their house to changing financial circumstances, the De La Torres are exactly the sort of Americans that President Barack Obama promised to help with his "Making Home Affordable" program.

But when Angel asked his bank to modify his loan, they told him he had to default on the loan to qualify. Not true. The program is made for homeowners like the De La Torres whose payments exceed 31 percent of their monthly income. The De La Torres' payments were already 54 percent of income.

"You see the president is doing this and doing that, but you don't see it in your community," Angel De La Torre, Sr. said. "Nothing happens over here."

Few people are seeing anything. The Treasury Department says they "have extended more than 150,000 offers on trial loan modifications," across the country. Those trial modifications go for three months to see if they're feasible. But that leaves millions of homeowners getting no help at all.

"The Obama plan has not been implemented by the banks," said Yvonne Maria Jimenez of the nonprofit coalition One LA-IAF.

Consumer advocates say banks, which received billions in taxpayer bailouts, are being stingy now that homeowners need help. Only 9 percent of failing la homeowners have gotten stable, fixed-rate modifications.

"The banks are not responding to homeowners on modification. They're taking a long time," Jimenez said. "The modifications that we are seeing are short term, they are not sustainable."

One bank agreed to lower the De La Torres' interest rate for one year, only to have balloon to 57 percent of their income in three years.

"I prefer to lose the house than to stop giving food to my kids," Angel De La Torre, Sr. said.

That's the kind of choice the Obama plan was supposed to prevent. The De La Torres could lose their house next week.