35,000 HAMP trials transfer to IBM from Bank of America
More than 35,000 mortgages in Home Affordable Modification Program trials transferred to the IBM (IBM) servicing arm Seterus from Bank of America (BAC), according to Treasury Department data released Monday. In March 2010, the Armonk, N.Y.-based company bought the operating assets of mortgage servicer Wilshire Credit Corp. from BofA, though no loans transferred in the deal. IBM rebranded this specialty servicing shop in July as Seterus. In its November HAMP report from the Treasury, BofA showed a negative 32,714 new trial modifications over the last month. In a footnote, the Treasury said it reflected "the transfer of approximately 35,000 modifications from Bank of America to Seterus." Neither BofA nor IBM was immediately available for comment. During the third quarter, Fannie Mae repurchased mortgage servicing rights from BofA covering $74 billion of unpaid principal because of problems at the bank's servicing department. It was reported Fannie intended to transfer the loans to specialty servicing shops such as Seterus. The FHFA is reviewing existing contracts between the government-sponsored enterprises and servicers that allow for this kind of buyback. The transfer of 35,000 HAMP trials to Seterus would put it near the top 10 largest servicers in the program. American Home Mortgage Servicing extended 42,000 HAMP trials, the 10th most of any other servicer. BofA offered more than 527,000 three-month HAMP trials and converted 171,000 of them into permanent modifications since the program began in March 2009. It currently holds an estimated 184,000 potentially HAMP-eligible mortgages. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.