Servicers participating in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) converted 227,922 trial modifications into permanent status through March, up from from 170,207 in February, according to updated figures from the US Treasury Department. Another 108,000 permanent modifications await only borrower acceptance, according to a Treasury release. The Treasury launched HAMP in March 2009 to provide capped incentives to servicers for the modification of loans on the verge of foreclosure. States with the highest concentration of HAMP activity so far includes sand states like California, Arizona and Florida, where mortgage delinquency rates are highest: During March 2010, servicers added 57,000 new trial modifications, down from 72,000 in February. The Treasury said this slowing reflects a growing requirement of upfront documentation to ensure borrowers comply with pending HAMP policy requirements. The rate of conversion to permanent status after a successful three-month trial is increasing, Treasury said. Servicers converted 60,000 trials into modifications in March, a nearly 15% growth from 53,000 in February. Permanent and trial mod borrowers received a median $512, or 36% of the median payment pre-modification. The lower monthly mortgage payments represent $3bn of cumulative savings, Treasury said. Of permanent modifications, 100% received an interest rate reduction. Of the same amount, 38.9% received a term extension and 27.6% received principal forbearance (these may overlap). Bank of America (BAC) led all servicers in terms of volume with 32,900 permanent HAMP mods through March. JP Morgan Chase (JPM) came in second with 31,460 and Wells Fargo (WFC) followed with 30,014 permanent HAMP mods. Write to Diana Golobay. Disclosure: the author holds no relevant investment positions.

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