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Canceled HAMP Trials Jump 80% in April

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As of the end of April 2010, servicers participating in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) had canceled 277,640 three-month trials since the program launched in March 2009, according to the Treasury Department. It’s an 80% increase from the 155,173 total in the previous month. Participating servicers have converted almost 300,000 trial modifications into permanent status since the Treasury launched HAMP in March 2009. Borrowers must make three monthly payments and submit all documentation during the trial period to receive a permanent modification. According to the Treasury, servicers have started 1.2m trials since the program launched. The Obama Administration initially targeted 3m to 4m homeowners with assistance through HAMP by the end of 2012. There are two reasons a servicer has for canceling a borrower’s trial modification under HAMP. Either the homeowner misses a monthly payment or the servicer determines ineligibility once all documents are submitted. Beginning June 1, servicers cannot start a trial modification until all documentation has been received. Canceled permanent modifications are up too. Through April, servicers canceled 3,744 permanent modifications since HAMP started, up from 2,879 the month before. A spokesperson for the Treasury said servicers cancel permanent modifications only when the borrower misses a payment, since the documentation is already in for the conversion from a trial period. For the first time, the Treasury broke down what status the loans was in when the homeowner entered a trial modification. More than 77% were in default at the start of the trial, while nearly 23% were at a risk of default. Every homeowner that made it to a permanent modification received an interest rate reduction, and 53.4% received a term extension. Almost 29% of all borrowers received principal forbearance to get the borrower’s monthly debt-to-income ratio down to 31% after a modification. Write to Jon Prior.

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