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Obama scorecard reveals more housing improvement

More than 1.3 million homeowner assistance actions have taken place through the Making Home Affordable Program. HOPE Now lenders offered families and individuals more than 3.2 million proprietary mortgage modifications through September, the Obama's Administration said in its November Housing Scorecard report.

The Federal Housing Administration offered more than 1.5 million loss mitigation and early delinquency preventions.

While data continues to show signs that the housing market is strengthening as a result of rising home values and a strong demand of home sales, the recovery is still fragile.

"The Obama Administration’s efforts to speed housing recovery are showing continued progress as the scorecard indicators highlight market momentum not seen since before the housing crisis - six consecutive months of rising home prices have bolstered homeowners equity, which is now $1.5 trillion higher than in April 2009," said HUD Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research Erika Poethig.

She added, "But with so many households still struggling to make ends meet, we have important work ahead. That is why we are asking Congress to approve the President’s refinancing proposal so that more homeowners can receive assistance." 

The terms of the $25 billion settlement of mortgage servicing deficiencies between the five largest mortgage services, 49 state attorneys general and the Federal government, caused services to increase the use of non-Principal Reduction Alternative principal reductions.

As of October, more than 1.1 million homeowners have received permanent modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program. Homeowners currently in HAMP permanent modifications with some form of principal reduction have been granted about $8 billion in principal reduction. 

About 74% of homeowners with eligible non-government-sponsored enterprise mortgage benefited from principal reduction with their HAMP modification. 

About 100,000 second lien modifications were started through the Second Lien Modification Program. Over 80,000 homeowners have exited their homes through a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure with Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program assistance.

Since the inception of the Making Home Affordable Program, Treasury required participating servicers to take specific actions to improve processes through ongoing program reviews. 

The top three servicers included Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC).

For the third quarter of 2012, servicers focused more attention on effectively evaluating homeowners under program eligibility criteria in the “second look disagree” category, with the average second look disagree percentage for the top servicers remained below 1%. 

The average income calculation error rate for the top servicers was below 3%, and two servicers had 0% error rates, indicating mortgage servicers continued to calculate homeowner income accurately. 

"The Administration remains focused on continuing to improve standards for the mortgage industry to help families avoid foreclosure," said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad. "We continue to push the industry to provide better service to homeowners while expanding the range of solutions available to families facing mortgage concerns." 

The challenges faced in the Reno-Sparks housing market were featured as the Administration’s Housing Scorecard Regional Spotlight. 

Reno homeowners continued to struggled with high rates of mortgage delinquency and foreclosures, indicating the local housing market remained fragile.

The Treasury provided $194 million to Nevada to provide assistance to homeowners through the Hardest Hit Fund.

About $30 million was also rewarded to Reno through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program to redevelop residential properties and aid foreclosed and abandoned housing. 

cmlynski@housingwire.com

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