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Here's how the Obama Administration rates its housing recovery

Administration gives itself a solid B+

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The Obama Administration released its Housing Scorecard — a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market created and reported by the administration itself — and the data purport to show progress on several indicators.  

The Housing Score Card, compiled by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, looked at housing for December 2013.

According to the report, home prices continue to rise.  But even the administration admits that what recovery the economy has seen is fragile.

“December’s Housing Scorecard shows that we are continuing to make progress helping struggling homeowners get back on their feet,” said Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs Edward J. Szymanoski. “Since the beginning of 2012, the number of homeowners underwater has declined by 5.7 million and homeowners’ equity has risen by 55% to $9.7 trillion.  There remains more work to do to address the 6.4 million homeowners who remain underwater; nevertheless, these are encouraging signs that the housing market recovery is providing millions of American homeowners with more economic security.”

“While the housing market continues to make progress, Treasury remains committed to helping homeowners who are still struggling to make their mortgage payments,” said Treasury Acting Assistant Secretary Tim Bowler. “December’s Making Home Affordable (MHA) report shows that nearly 1.3 million homeowners have received a permanent modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the program has saved homeowners an estimated $24.2 billion to date in mortgage payments.” 

According to the report:

More than 123,000 second-lien modifications have been completed through the Second Lien Modification Program (2MP).

Homeowners in 2MP with an active permanent modification saved a median of $153 per month on their second mortgage, resulting in a median total first and second lien monthly payment reduction of $784, or 41 percent of their median before-modification payment.

Homeowners who receive a full extinguishment of their second lien receive a median total first and second lien monthly payment reduction of $1,047, or 53 percent of their before-modification payment.

Effective September 2013, Treasury expanded the 2MP program to include qualifying first liens that have been modified under the GSE Standard Modification requirements.  When a borrower’s first lien is modified under the GSE Standard Modification requirements and the first lien satisfies the HAMP eligibility criteria, the 2MP servicer must offer to modify or extinguish the borrower’s second lien under 2MP.

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