WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development today released March data for the Administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). As of the end of the month, more than 1.4 million homeowners received offers for trial modifications, and more than 1.1 million borrowers were receiving a median savings of $500 each month. Permanent modifications have been granted to more than 230,000 homeowners, and an additional 108,000 permanent modifications have been approved by servicers and are pending only borrower acceptance. Homeowners’ lower monthly mortgage payments under HAMP represent a cumulative savings of more than $3 billion.
NY TIMES – The number of homeowners who defaulted on their mortgages even after securing cheaper terms through the government’s modification program nearly doubled in March, continuing a trend that could undermine the entire program.
2,879 modified loans had been ended since the program’s inception in the fall, up from 1,499 in February and 1,005 in January.
The Treasury Department said it could not explain the growing number of what it called cancellations, almost all of which were apparently prompted by the borrower’s being unable to make the new payment. A scant number — 37 — were because the loan had been paid off, presumably because the borrower sold the house.
About seven million households are behind on their mortgage payments.