Top servicers transferred mortgages in December to another company after canceling the loan out of a Home Affordable Modification Program trial. The Treasury Department tracks how many trials the top servicers cancel each month and reports the cumulative total. However, the cumulative total actually decreased from the month before for CitiMortgage, the servicing arm of Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Litton Loan Servicing, which is owned by Goldman Sachs (GS). For Wells, the amount of canceled trials went from 118,329 in November to 72,625 in December. Canceled trials at Citi went from 81,329 to 72,625. At Litton, the total amount fell from 24,299 to 22,401 in December, according to Treasury data. As of December, the top eight servicers hold a combined 565,058 canceled trials, down from 572,655, according to Treasury data. "The decline in the disposition data is due to the transfer of loans from one of the eight largest servicers to another (nontop eight) servicer," a Treasury spokesperson told HousingWire. "This affected the overall numbers for Citi, Litton and Wells this month. This does not affect the overall numbers for the program." While a spokesman for Wells did say some of the loans were not immediately accounted for, the vast majority of the monthly decrease stems from another factor. Canceled HAMP trials can sometimes come back into a HAMP trial if the borrower submits all documentation or becomes current on the terms after redefaulting. December was an "unusual month" for Wells in that "more went out than came back in," the spokesman said. The Treasury does track what happened to those loans that were canceled out of trials. More than 45%, or 255,038 loans, received an alternative modification, by far the most popular destination. These lenders started foreclosure for just under 15% of them, or 83,948 loans. Another 15%, or 84,680 loans, still have action pending. Litton and Citi declined to comment. The longer a loan spends in loss mitigation, the more expensive it becomes for a servicer to hold onto it. With so many delinquent borrowers requesting workouts with these companies, the old model for how servicing is compensated became antiquated. So much so that the Federal Housing Finance Agency is working to change the servicing fee structure for the entire industry. HAMP itself has come under fire from those who say it has not done enough. Servicers started more than 600,000 permanent modifications, but canceled trial and permanent mods total more than 808,000. Another 1.2 million never made it to the trial stage as of December, according to the Treasury. The House Financial Services Committee already voted Thursday to end two other foreclosure prevention programs. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter: @JonAPrior