HAMP Servicers Permanently Modify More Than 66,000 Mortgages
Servicers participating in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) completed 66,465 permanent modifications through December, according to a report from the US Treasury Department. It’s more than double the 31,382 permanent modifications reported through the month of November. More than 40,000 more active modifications need only the borrowers signature to become permanent, totaling 112,521 permanent modifications approved by the servicers. Under HAMP, the Treasury allocates more than $35bn in capped incentives to servicers for the modification of loans on the verge of foreclosure. The original target set by the Obama Administration was to offer more 3-to-4m homeowners a modification when the program launched in March 2009. More than 1.1m three-month trial modifications have been offered, and 902,620 trials have been started. All active trial modifications, which includes activated trials and completed permanent modifications, totaled 853,696 through December. CitiMortgage led all servicers by completing active trial modifications on 47% of its HAMP-eligible portfolio, which totals more than 241,981 loans. It overtook Saxon Mortgage Services, a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley (MS), which conducted active modifications on 46% of the 72,709 mortgages in its eligible portfolio. Saxon completed 2,497 permanent modifications. GMAC came in third by completing active trial modifications on 44% of its 69,281 HAMP-eligible portfolio. It also leads all servicers with 9,872 permanent modifications. Wells Fargo (WFC) completed the second most permanent modifications with 8,424. Wells had active modifications on 34% of the 350,169 HAMP-eligible loans in its portfolio. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) had the third most permanent modifications at 7,139 and had active modifications on 36% of the 424,965 eligible loans in its portfolio, the fourth highest percentage. Bank of America's (BAC) 3,183 permanent modifications is an improvement from the 98 permanent modifications in November. HousingWire reported on BofA's HAMP performance earlier in the week and how it shifted its focus to collect more documentation from borrowers in the trial-modification stage. BofA completed active modifications on 19% of the more than 1m loans in its eligible portfolio. The predominant reason for hardship, which must be proven to servicers to determine eligibility, was a curtailment of income. More than 51% of the eligible borrowers cited this as the reason for their need of a HAMP modification. More than 11% cited excessive obligation, another 5% cited unemployment and more than 2% noted an illness to the principal borrower as the reason for their need. Under HAMP, servicers modify the mortgage monthly payments for a borrower until a debt-to-income ratio reaches 31%. To get to that percentage, servicers reduced the interest on 100% of of the permanent modifications under the program, extended the term of the loan on 43.2% of the modifications and provided principal forbearance, or moved the principal to the back-end of the loan, on 26.6% of the modifications. Write to Jon Prior.