The Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Treasury issued their joint Housing Scorecard on Monday.  The Scorecard summarizes information on home sales, mortgage originations, delinquencies and foreclosures, home prices, loan modifications, and other housing related data, most of which is covered by Mortgage News Daily as it is released from its original sources.

The Scorecard this month makes note of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program which it said has completed 28,000 units of new or rehabilitated housing through its grantees through the end of the third quarter.  Direct assistance to homeowners reached the 10,500 mark.

The Scorecard includes by reference the monthly report of the Making Home Affordable or MHA Program which is the umbrella under which most of the administration's foreclosure prevention initiatives operate.  Chief among these is the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) which modifies first lien loans for both private investors and the government sponsored enterprises Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

HAMP servicers initiated 13,655 trial modification plans in October, bringing the total since the program began in the spring of 2009 to 2.12 million.  Since the September report 16,383 trial modifications were converted to permanent status, bringing permanent modifications to a total of 1.29 million.  Of those 917,138 modifications are still active.

The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program has assisted 237,687 homeowners exit homeownership without undergoing a foreclosure.  Short sales have accounted for 221,886 of those actions and 15,801 were completed through a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

The Second Lien Modification Program (2MP) has initiated 121,252 second lien modifications and 77,713 are active.  Full lien extinguishments, at a median amount of $61,242 have been completed for 31,119 homeowners and partial extinguishments at a median of $10,116 have been completed for 9,507.

The November MHA report also contains the results of the third quarter Servicer Assessments.  Since the beginning of MHA Treasury has required participating servicers to take specific actions to improve their processes through ongoing program reviews and the Assessments summarize performance in three categories of program implementation: identifying and contacting homeowners; homeowner evaluation and assistance; and program management and reporting.

The Assessment has been enhanced for the third quarter to present new compliance metrics and benchmarks.  The report says these changes will provide additional insight into the impact of servicer performance on the borrower's experience, allow for trending analysis of all compliance metrics and foster further improvement in servicer performance by tightening performance benchmarks.  In addition to tightening benchmarks for existing compliance metrics and removing three existing metrics the changes include the addition of three new ones such as timely assignment of a single point of contact.

Three servicers were found to need minor improvement, three servicers were found to need moderate improvement and one servicer, Citi, was found to need substantial improvement. All servicers will need to continue to demonstrate progress in areas identified in program reviews. Although this quarter's results indicate one servicer needs substantial improvement, on average servicer performance has improved since the inception of the Servicer Assessment reports. This is evidenced by an average income calculation error rate of 0.8 percent for this quarter.

 "The standards set by the Making Home Affordable program have transformed the mortgage servicing industry, as have our quarterly servicer assessments," said Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary Tim Bowler. "While the country as a whole has made significant progress, there is still room for improvement for servicers and the Treasury is committed to applying pressure on the mortgage servicing industry to improve servicer behavior. Although the housing market has largely recovered, there are still homeowners struggling and it is key that we continue to help them."