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November Housing Scorecard: "Homeowners' Equity $1.5T Higher than 2009"
Posted to: MND NewsWire
Friday, December 7, 2012 3:29 PM

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The November edition of the Obama Administration's Housing Scorecard notes that home values are continuing to rise and home sales remained strong during October.  The Scorecard is issued jointly by the Departments of Treasury and Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Erika Poethig, HUD Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research said that the Administration's efforts to speed housing recovery are showing continued progress.  "Six consecutive months of rising home prices have bolstered homeowners' equity, which is now $1.5 trillion higher than in April 2009," she said.  "But with so many households still struggling to make ends meet, we have important work ahead. That is why we are asking Congress to approve the President's refinancing proposal so that more homeowners can receive assistance."

The Scorecard is a summary of recent housing data from a number of sources such as the Census Bureau, RealtyTrac and S&P/Case-Shiller.  Much of the data, such as housing permits and starts, home prices, and foreclosure data have been previously reported by MND.  The Scorecard also incorporates by reference the monthly report on the various foreclosure prevention programs operated under the umbrella of the Making Home Affordable (MHA) program including the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP.), the Unemployment Program (UP) and the Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA), .  That MHA report, covering program operations through the end of October, also includes results of quarter assessments of servicers participating in the programs.

Since the end of the previous reporting period HAMP has started 13,403 trial modifications and converted 16,003 trial modifications to permanent status.  A total of 1.94 million borrowers have started trials since the program began in April 2009 and 1.11 million trials have been converted to permanent status.  There are currently 840,838 active permanent modifications.  Borrowers who have received permanent modifications have reduced their monthly mortgage payments by a median amount of $542 a month for aggregate savings of $16.2 billion since the program began.

The Second Lien Modification Program (2MP) has initiated 99,157 second lien modifications over the life of the program, 793 of them in October.  Second liens were extinguished for 24,617 borrowers and 5,765 were partially extinguished.  The median value of extinguished loans was $61,960 and the median value of the partial extinguishment was $9,125.  In addition, modifications were made to 68,088 second liens.

The Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA) is a program to reduce principal on loans as part of a modification.  The Treasury Department incentivizes this program and there have been 104,191 principal reductions through HAMP and another 33,361 PRA modifications have been done outside of HAMP.  Since September 3,467 PRA modifications have been started under HAMP and 1,342 outside of HAMP.  Modifications including PRA have outstanding principal balances totally $8 billion.  Loans owned by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae are not permitted to participate in the reduction program. 

The UP program granted forbearance to 1,040 employed homeowners since the last report and 28,071 over the life of the program.  More than 80 percent of the forbearances have required that borrower make some payment during the forbearance period.

Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA) transactions numbered 4,800 during the recent period and 80,263 since the program began.   About 2,000 homeowners have surrendered their homes through deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure while the remaining 78,260 completed short sale transactions.  Over 11,000 HAFA transactions are active and not included in the other numbers.

There have been a total of 1.32 million homeowners who have completed an MHA program, 24,911 of them in the most recent reporting period.

Servicer assessments for the third quarter found that seven servicers needed moderate improvement in some areas and two others needed minor improvements.  Servicers in need of moderate improvement were Bank of America, CitiMortgage, GMAC Mortgage, Homeward Resident, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Ocwen Loan Servicing, and Wells Fargo Bank.  OneWest Bank and Select Portfolio were found to need minor improvements.   The assessments focus on three categories of program implementation; identifying and contacting homeowners; homeowner evaluation and assistance; and program reporting, management and governance. Metrics used to measure performance included such measures as conversion rates, percentage of aged trials, missing modification status reports, and average calendar days to resolve escalated cases.

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