The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) reached a new milestone of 500,000 loan modifications in progress, according to an announcement from the US Treasury Department and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Under HAMP, the Treasury allocates capped incentives to servicers for the modification of distressed loans. Those caps are adjusted based on the servicer’s performance. The 500,000-modification milestone comes one month before the Nov. 1 benchmark set in July. Since then, servicers pushed their implementation and sustained a faster pace of the modifications, according to the Treasury. As of Oct. 1, servicers participating in HAMP offered 757,955 trial modifications, up from 570,000 trial modfications offered by the end of August 2009, according to the latest performance report from the Treasury. The report also indicates: Saxon Mortgage Services leads all servicers for the back-to-back months by starting trial modifications for 41% of its 79,921 eligible 60+ day delinquent loans. The percentage increased from 39% in August. JP Morgan Chase (JPM) started 117,196 trial modifications, the most on a gross volume basis, which is 27% of its eligible portfolio. The number of initiated trial modifications increased from 106,288 in August. Bank of America (BAC) still holds the most eligible loans, 875,917, but has started trial modifications on 11%, up from 7% a month ago. Other notable performances in the progress report include: CitiMortgage starting trial modifications on 33% of its portfolio, up from 23% in August; Litton Loan Servicing starting 2% of its eligible loans, down from 3% in August; and GMAC Mortgage starting 26% of its portfolio of 73,498. Wells Fargo (WFC) started trial modifications on 20% of its eligible portfolio, and the 62,989 trial modifications doubled from August, according to the report. Using its own programs, Wells Fargo has done 292,005 trial and completed loan modifications, totaling 354,993 modifications this year, according to a release. Write to Jon Prior.