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Administration Reports on Mods, Foreclosures in January

DSnews.com – Krista Franks Brock

During the month of January, 14,500 homeowners received permanent mortgage modifications through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), while 53,100 homeowners lost their homes to foreclosure, according to the latest Housing Scorecard from the Obama administration.

At the same time, 14,500 homeowners entered into trial modifications through HAMP, and 72,500 homes entered the foreclosure process.

Proprietary modifications continue to outpace HAMP. HOPE Now reported 62,200 mortgage modifications completed in January.

Also in January, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) completed 39,200 loss mitigation actions, and the Home Affordable Refinance Program completed 81,600 refinances.

Combined, HAMP, FHA, and HOPE Now have offered more than 6.1 million mortgage assistance actions since April 2009, while just over 3 million foreclosures have taken place.

“Making Home Affordable has directly helped more than one million homeowners avoid foreclosure and indirectly helped millions more by promoting critical changes in the way the mortgage industry assists struggling homeowners,” said Tim Massad, assistant secretary for financial stability at the Treasury.

Since its initiation, HAMP has provided more than 1.1 million homeowners with permanent mortgage modifications. These homeowners save an average $545 on their monthly mortgage payments.

About 87 percent of homeowners who enter the program receive a permanent modification, and about 94 percent of those are current on their modified loan after six months.

While HAMP claims fewer modifications than the private sector, the administration reports modifications through HAMP “continue to exhibit lower delinquency and re-default rates than industry modifications as reported by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.”

“The housing market has clearly bottomed out nationally and is turning a corner with new home construction increasing to a level not seen since June 2008 and home prices showing strong gains,” said Kurt Usowski, deputy assistant secretary for economic affairs at HUD.

Home sales continue to rise, with new home sales up 8.8 percent since last December and existing home sales up 12.8 percent. Home prices rose 5 percent over the year.

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