The Obama Administration’s foreclosure-rescue campaign to convert more distressed borrowers to permanent mortgage relief is making progress, with 112,521 modifications made permanent or pending such status through December, according to the latest report from the U.S. Treasury.
U.S. officials – under mounting pressure to help ease the unabated rate of foreclosures – said in a statement that December’s report represents “significant acceleration in the rate at which borrowers are being approved for permanent modifications.”
The Treasury also stresses that more than 850,000 homeowners “have had a median payment reduction exceeding $500.”
“Treasury is committed to working with servicers and borrowers to sustain this improved pace,” said Chief of Treasury’s Homeownership Preservation Office Phyllis Caldwell.
But the overall rate of those eligible homeowners who are getting assistance under Making Home Affordable, also known as Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), is 25 percent.
The latest HAMP update by the Treasury shows that the estimated pool of eligible homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgages by 60 days or more is more than 3.3 million. Less than half were offered trail modifications, or slightly more than 1.1 million. Of those, 902,620 started HAMP trials, and there are now 787,231 in active trial modifications.
“HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) will continue to work with our Administration partners and utilize our broad network of housing counseling agencies to increase the number of borrowers receiving sustainable and affordable modifications under HAMP,” said HUD Senior Advisor for Mortgage Finance William Apgar
The top five servicers of HAMP modified loans are Bank of America (203,470); Chase (153,967); Wells Fargo (118,708); CitiMortgage (112,998); and Saxon Mortgage Services (33,411).
The services and HAMP administrators have worked to streamline the process to help more homeowners graduate out of trials, with HAMP officials waiving certain rules to ease paperwork and certain qualifications that were considered to be slowing down the relief effort.
The big lenders – Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup – have also made public commitments to increase the rate of permanent mortgage relief conversions and to offer more borrowers trial modifications.
The five geographical areas listed by Treasury as having the largest percentages of HAMP activity cover California, Florida, Illinois and New York:
- New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island;
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana;
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach;
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario.
For the Treasury’s full summary on HAMP, click here.