The number of Chicago-area homeowners who have received permanent mortgage loan modifications under the federal Home Affordable Modification Program increased by 50% in February, but the pace at which temporary modifications are being granted appears to be slowing. The shift is by design. For the past few months, the Obama administration has pressured mortgage servicers to speed up the rate at which they are making temporary HAMP modifications permanent. It also has altered the guidelines and wants servicers to grant trial modifications based on full documentation, rather than a borrower’s stated income, to make it more likely that borrowers can have their temporary loan terms made permanent. Almost 8,100 delinquent Chicago-area borrowers have received permanent mortgage loan modifications, the Treasury Department reported Friday, based on February data from loan servicers. In January, 5,381 local residents were enrolled in permanent modifications. An additional 43,215 Chicago-area borrowers were in trial loan modifications, a 1.2% increase from January. In the prior month, the volume of trial modifications increased almost 6%.

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