Foreclosure starts this year reached one million, the Center for Responsible Lending reported today.

"The mortgage industry´s track record so far shows that loan modifications are not likely to succeed with superficial fixes that fail to lower a homeowner´s monthly payments," said a press release the CRL distributed.

Bankers are claiming that not even a reduction of monthly payments can stop many foreclosures from happening; some borrowers are simply in over their heads.

It´s hard to tell who´s right. BankThink has tackled this topic in previous posts. Analysts, too, claim that lower monthly payments are the key to sustainable loan mods, but regulators and many banks keeping track of loan mod efforts fail to include this detail in their metrics.

Halfway through 2009, bankers and regulators still have a great deal left to solve in the foreclosure crisis. As this grim statistic shows, time is running out.