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More Homeowners Receiving Principal Reductions Under HAMP

As of September, more than 1.2 million homeowners have received a permanent modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), according to ""Treasury"":http://www.treasury.gov.


Those granted permanent relief through HAMP are saving approximately $547 on their mortgage payments each month--almost a 40 percent savings from their previous payment on average. Government officials say this represents a total estimated savings of $22.9 billion in monthly mortgage payments since the inception of the program.

Homeowners currently in HAMP permanent modifications with some form of principal reduction have been granted an estimated $12.1 billion in reduced principal, Treasury reports. Of all non-GSE loans eligible for principal reduction entering HAMP in September, 72 percent included a principal reduction feature, according to ""the Department's latest report"":http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=Sept2013MHARptFinal.pdf.


Servicers awarded 12,884 permanent HAMP modifications in September, of which 5,854 included principal reduction. September’s program numbers are down considerably compared to the previous month when an estimated 19,100 permanent mods were granted to struggling borrowers.

The government’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program showed even greater monthly falloff. In September, Treasury reports 11,816 homeowners exited their homes through a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure with assistance from HAFA, compared to approximately 21,000 HAFA transactions completed in August.

As of September, servicers completed more than 226,000 HAFA transactions for distressed homeowners, including both non-GSE and GSE activity. Servicers participating in the federal government’s Making Home Affordable program must consider all borrowers denied for HAMP for a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure through the HAFA program. However, individual investors can impose additional eligibility requirements.

Treasury reports 91,323 GSE loans have received assistance through Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Standard HAFA programs, 36,837 loans held in servicers’ own portfolios have received HAFA relief, and 98,275 HAFA transactions have involved loans held by private investors.

The top three states for HAFA activity include California, where 40 percent of all HAFA deals are conducted; followed by Florida with 16 percent of HAFA short sales and deeds-in-lieu; and then Arizona with just 6 percent of the HAFA market share.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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