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In 2011, during a Twitter town hall, one user asked President Barack Obama, “What mistakes have you made in handling this recession and what would you do differently?” Obama responded that, could he travel back in time, he would have more clearly explained to the country that “it was going to take a while to get out of [the recession].” He also admitted that housing debt had remained stubbornly high.

His administration, Obama noted, had attempted several times to “revamp” its signature housing measure, the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) — but to little avail. Declining to explain the details or difficulties with…