In August, California foreclosure filings fell from both the previous month and the same time in 2008 as the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) picks up steam, according to a report from ForeclosureRadar. HAMP provides cap incentives to servicers for the modification of loans in default or on the verge of default. The US Treasury Department adjusts those caps based on actual participation. Notices of default in California, which is the first step in the foreclosure process, dropped from July to 36,396 filings, a monthly dip of 19.1% and a 14.2% decrease from August of last year. Notice of trustee sale filings continues to seesaw in California, falling 15.1% from July to 33,362 after an increase of 31.6% from June to July. Compared to August 2008, the filings dipped 8.1%. Foreclosures scheduled for trustee sale jumped to 131,300, a 5.1% increase from the previous month and an 89.1% hike from August of last year. The foreclosures that actually sold at auction also increased to 17,829 sales, a 3.4% increase and down 32.2% from August 2008. “It is clear at this point, that foreclosures are being HAMPered” says Sean O’Toole, founder and CEO of ForeclosureRadar. O’Toole added that the program postpones a large amount of filings, but if it fails, the market should expect further government intervention instead of a wave of new foreclosures. Write to Jon Prior.