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Fifth Third Converts 70% of HAMP Trials to Permanent Status

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Fifth Third Mortgage Co., the mortgage unit of Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB), so far converted 70% of its trial Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) plans into permanent modifications.

"Fifth Third Bank is determined to keep customers in their homes," said Steve Alonso, executive vice president of consumer lending, mortgage and business banking for Fifth Third Bank. "We are working tirelessly to convert eligible customers in the government's Home Affordable Modification Program."

Fifth Third uses HAMP on its Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-owned mortgages. The company uses a similar program for Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-owned mortgages it services.

The Cincinnati-based bank also uses its proprietary program for bank-owned mortgages rather than HAMP.

"While HAMP does have benefits to the customer, Fifth Third's…program is tailored, through a menu of options, to each customer's specific financial situation -- not just the customer's mortgage payment-to-income as in GSE and HUD modification programs," the company said. "The program allows the Bank to offer flexible-term and rate concessions to bank-owned mortgages."

In addition to modifications, the company is also pursuing refinancing options. Fifth Third in July said it refinanced more than 23,500 mortgages totaling almost $4bn since the launch of the Freddie Mac Relief Refinance Program in April 2009.

Write to Diana Golobay.

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