Mortgage servicers, investors and insurers participating in the Hope Now alliance completed 101,000 permanent modifications in January, down 9% from the month before. Of those that were completed, 73,000 were proprietary modifications, nearly three times the 27,957 done through the government's Home Affordable Modification Program. Critics of HAMP hold the fact mortgage servicers prefer their own modification programs as a basis for terminating the government initiative before its expiration at the end of 2012. House Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee cleared a bill Wednesday night to terminate HAMP, while Democrats seek to retool the program. While permanent modifications did drop in January, they still outnumbered completed foreclosure sales, which reached 73,000 in the same month, up from 58,000 in December, according to Hope Now. RealtyTrac reported Thursday foreclosure filings dropped to a three-year low in February as servicers work through the problems plaguing their procedures. Hope Now Executive Director Faith Schwartz said many of the modifications are on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Federal Housing Administration loans. She also added a small defense of HAMP, despite the lower volume of workouts. "The combination of government modifications and private modifications continues to make a meaningful difference in preserving homeownership and preventing foreclosures," Schwartz said. "As required by the current Making Home Affordable Program (HAMP), all modifications must be reviewed for HAMP eligibility prior to receiving a proprietary modification." Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter: @JonAPrior