Joseph Smith, the national mortgage settlement monitor, says homeowners are seeing improvements in how they are treated by servicing shops when dealing with distressed loans.

But Smith said Thursday loan documentation issues and processing delays remain a concern, and none of the servicers under his oversight have been fully released from the settlement as of yet.

But Smith, who met with the press while in Nevada visiting Attorney General Catherine Masto Thursday, said, "The latest report shows (the 49 servicers subject to the settlement) are making progress in terms of principal reductions."

However, the mortgage monitor, said "there is still a sense that there is a lot of work to do, but there has been a little progress."

Smith met with legal aid and housing counselors while in the state of Nevada to learn first-hand what servicing complaints continue to linger on today.

Within two years, he expects to review the nation's major servicers tied to the agreement.

He noted that if he has to use enforcement tools at some point, he will, but right now he is observing the progress and keeping tabs on remaining issues.

"There is still skepticism, and I know the burden is on me," Smith said.

kpanchuk@housingwire.com