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Redefaults drop on year-old HAMP modifications in fourth quarter

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Permanent workouts made through the Home Affordable Modification Program in the fourth quarter of 2009 have aged one year, and the redefault rate on these loans are faring better than those completed earlier. The Treasury Department launched HAMP in March 2009 to provide servicers an incentive to modify loans on the verge of foreclosure. Servicers completed 30,030 permanent modifications in December, relatively flat from the previous month, according to a preview of the statistics obtained by HousingWire last week. Since the program began, there have been 579,659 permanent modifications completed, an underwhelming stat, according to many opponents of the program. Each quarter, the Treasury releases updated redefault numbers for these modified loans and included them in the official release of the December numbers Monday. Of the 52,344 modifications that became permanent in the fourth quarter of 2009, 15.3% had fallen back into 90-plus day delinquency after 12 months. That's down from a 20.7% redefault rate for permanent modifications completed the quarter before. However, servicers completed only 4,700 permanent modifications in the third quarter of 2009. For all 411,352 permanent modifications made through the third quarter of 2010, 15.8% had fallen into 90-plus day delinquency 12 months into the new terms. That's compared to a 20.6% redefault rate for the 324,730 loans modified through the previous quarter. The Treasury also released conversion rates per servicer. Ocwen Financial Corp. (OCN) held the highest conversion rate of any servicer in December. It converted 74% of its trial modifications, up from 73% in November. It has 24,467 active permanent mods and holds an estimated 48,855 loans eligible for the program. Ally Financial's (GJM) GMAC Mortgage converted 73% of its trials into permanent status, up from 72%, for a total of 34,371 active permanent mods. It holds 15,010 remaining HAMP-eligible loans. American Home Mortgage Servicing has the third highest conversion rate of any single servicer at 71%. It has started 17,191 permanent mods and holds 52,098 HAMP-eligible loans. The big-four banks all had slight conversion rate increases in November. CitiMortgage, the servicing arm of Citigroup (C) has pulled away from the others, however. It leads them by converting 42% of its trial into permanent status, up from 37% in November. It totals 42,746 active permanent modifications since the program began. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) converted 38% for a total of 66,441 started permanent modifications through December, up from 37% the month before. Wells Fargo (WFC) had a 38% conversion rate, up from 37% the month before. It totals 70,135 active permanent modifications through December. Bank of America (BAC) holds the highest amount of active permanent modifications of any participating servicer through November, at 90,243 and a 31% conversion rate, up from 28% the month before. BofA holds more 408,524 HAMP-eligible loans in its portfolio, which is more than double the 195,841 held by JPMorgan Chase, which has the second most HAMP-eligible loans in its portfolio. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter: @JonAPrior

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