More than 60,500 trial modifications were converted into permanent mods in March under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), the Treasury Department reports. During the same time frame, about 66,500 trial modifications were canceled.
In total, approximately 230,800 modifications have been made permanent under the federal government's program.
March's conversion total represents almost a 15% increase from February's 53,000 total. New trial modifications dropped by about 15,000 during the month, which the Treasury says is the result of recently added up-front documentation requirements.
"We are encouraged by the 15 percent increase in permanent HAMP modifications completed since February, and the industry continues to work hard with the government to convert as many trial HAMP modifications as possible," says HOPE NOW's executive director, Faith Schwartz. "As we continue to streamline the application process, reduce lost or missing paperwork and qualify more borrowers for the HAMP program, we expect to see a further increase in trial modifications becoming permanent."
Another 108,212 trial modifications are only a borrower signature away from becoming permanent, according to testimony from Phyllis Caldwell, the Treasury's chief homeownership preservation officer, who appeared before a House subcommittee yesterday.
In prepared remarks, Caldwell provided an overview of the revisions made to HAMP in recent weeks. Those program alterations include a requirement for servicers to halt the foreclosure process for borrowers in HAMP trial periods, increased incentives and a new principal write-down option.
"While significant progress has been made in the first year of program implementation, the enhancements announced on March 26 of this year demonstrate this administration's commitment to apply lessons learned, strengthen program implementation and broaden the program's impact," Caldwell said.
Implementation details for the principal write-down modification program are expected by early fall, and details on the unemployment forbearance component announced in March will likely arrive within the next two months, Caldwell said.