The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury today released the February edition of the Obama Administration's Housing Scorecard.  The Scorecard is a summary of housing data from various sources such as the S&P/Case-Shiller house price indices, the National Association of Realtors® existing home sales report, Census data, and RealtyTrac foreclosure information.  Most of the information has already been covered by MND.

The Scorecard is accompanied with the monthly report on the various programs operated by the Making Home Affordable (MHA)  Program including the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), the Second Lien Modification Program (2MP), and Principal Reduction Alternatives (PRA).  The current report contains program activity through the end of January 2012.  The February report also includes the Fourth Quarter 2012 assessments of the largest mortgage servicers participating in the program. 

For the fourth quarter of 2012, two servicers were found to need only minor improvement in the areas reviewed for program performance, while seven servicers were found to need moderate improvement.  The two servicers needing minor improvement were GMAC Mortgage and OneWest Bank.  Those needing moderate improvement were Bank of America, CitiMortgage, Homeward Residential,  JPMorgan Chase Bank, Ocwen Loan Servicing, Select Portfolio Servicing, and Wells Fargo Bank.  

MHA says that while servicer performance in any particular category can fluctuate, in general servicers continue to show improvement in program implementation and highlighted the progress in two areas.  In one, the "second look disagree" category in which reflects the rate at which the Treasury Department's program reviews disagree with the servicers decision to find a homeowner ineligible for assistance the disagree rate for the top servicers was below two percent.

MHA also found that servicers are continuing to accurately calculate homeowner income, finding the average income calculation error rate decreased from the previous quarter and three servicers had a zero percent error rate. 

Between the end of December and the end of January MHA's activity included the initiation of 24,106 first lien modifications, 11,654 of which were through HAMP, and 14,858 HAMP permanent modifications. The remainder of the modifications initiated were standard modifications by the government sponsored enterprises Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  

The 2MP program initiated 2,165 second lien modifications and the HAFA program concluded 13,322 transactions, the vast majority of which were short sales.  There were also 811 forbearance plans started through UP.  

Since the implementation of MHA programs there have been 1,264,711 first lien modifications initiated, 1,151,340 through HAMP.  The second lien modification program has initiated 105,437 modifications and the UP plan 30,525 forbearance plans.  HAFA has completed foreclosure alternative transactions for 114,417 borrowers.

The $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement in February 2012 has caused servicers to increase their use of principal reductions in their loan modifications.  Sixty-nine percent of non-GSE modifications started in January included principal reduction but only 55 percent were done through the HAMP PRA) which offers servicers incentives for participating.  MHA says that principal reductions granted outside of the HAMP PRA program since February 2012 are likely attributable to the settlement.