HAMP Stats Increase in November with Permanent Mods Topping 500K (DSNews)

The following article is from DSNews.com regarding HAMP Stats Increasing, Published December 22, 2010:

The federal government’s principal foreclosure prevention program has put 504,648 distressed homeowners into permanently modified loans since it was launched in March 2009. Treasury released new numbers for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) Wednesday, and in addition to crossing the 500K threshold, the data show that servicers stepped up their use of the program last month.

Permanent modifications were granted to 30,000 borrowers in November, 26 percent more than in October. The number of trial modifications started also rose. In November, 31,300 new trial plans were initiated, up about 20 percent from the previous month.

Treasury says servicers are continuing to work through the backlog of HAMP trials that have lasted six months or more. The number of these aged trials has no fallen below 50,000.

According to Treasury’s report, for those borrowers in active permanent modifications, the median monthly savings is $524.41, or 37 percent of the median payment before modification. Aggregate reductions in monthly mortgage payments for borrowers who received permanent modifications are estimated to total $4.1 billion.
Critics of the program, though, point to the fact that at its current pace, HAMP will fall far short of the administration’s goal of helping 3 to 4 million homeowners save their homes from foreclosure. The Congressional Oversight Panel warned last week that “absent a dramatic and unexpected increase in HAMP enrollment…an untold number of borrowers may go without help.” The watchdog group estimates that the program will ultimately help only 700,000 homeowners.

The program has also been plagued with large fallouts, as homeowners in trial plans were unable to stay current on their modified payments or failed to meet program requirements for transitioning to permanent status. Of the 1.43 million trial plans extended, over half have been cancelled. In addition, 45,000 permanent mods have been terminated from the program.

Still, federal officials assert that HAMP has laid the groundwork for more sustainable modifications through servicers’ own proprietary programs and other constructive foreclosure alternative options.

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Katerina Gasset

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