BofA Makes 21,000 HAMP Modifications Permanent
Bank of America (BAC) reported 21,000 permanent modifications under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) through February. The US Treasury Department launched HAMP in March 2009 to provide incentives to servicers for the modification of loans on the verge of foreclosure. BofA faced industry criticism for reporting 98 permanent modifications through November 2009. Since then, BofA made an adjustment from increasing the amount of borrowers entering the program to pulling through more trial modifications into permanent status. In November, more than 16,000 borrowers in an active trials had zero documentation into the bank. After a wave phone calls and express mail notifications in December, BofA dropped that number down to 2,000. BofA leads the servicing industry with more than 240,000 active trial modifications under HAMP. There is some discrepancy between how many HAMP-eligible loans BofA has compared to what the Treasury reports. According to the Treasury, BofA has more than 1m eligible loans in its portfolio. In December, BofA asserted that it had closer to 600,000. "We are in a position to show strong results in completion of permanent HAMP modifications as we move into spring," said Jack Schakett, loss mitigation strategies executive for Bank of America Home Loans. "We have a strong pipeline of modifications in the trial payment period, under review for conversion to permanent status, and out for final signature." Through its own programs, BofA completed 500,000 modifications from January 2008 through February. According to a spokesperson at the Treasury, the monthly HAMP report is due out today. Write to Jon Prior.