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2013-10-01nbcnews.com

``Since the 2008 financial collapse, the government has spent billions of dollars trying to extricate borrowers from high-cost loans, aid delinquent homeowners and stabilize neighborhoods. The results have been disappointing. The Obama Administration's signature loan-modification program has helped about 657,000 homeowners -- far short of its goal of 3 to 4 million. The program was a victim of its complexity and its inability to cope with overwhelming demand. Many families hit hardest by the housing downturn are concentrated in states that are having the most difficulty recovering from the recession, including Florida, Ohio and Nevada.

The government's call for ideas is a sign it is deluged with repossessions, commonly known as real-estate-owned properties or REO. "It's almost like having the captain of the Titanic go on the public address system and say, `Does anybody have an idea?'" says Mark Wiseman, a former director of Cleveland's foreclosure-prevention program. "It's not a confidence builder."''


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