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Treasury Adds New Compliance Metrics to Making Home Affordable

The servicer assessment component of the Making Home Affordable (MHA) program has been enhanced with new compliance metrics and benchmarks.
[IMAGE] Individual servicer assessments were first published by the administration in April 2011 and are conducted quarterly to assess how well the largest program participants are doing in providing distressed homeowners with mortgage relief under the terms of the federal program.

""Treasury"":http://www.treasury.gov says these evaluations allow officials to better gauge individual servicers' performance, identify specific areas of non-compliance, drive improvements in servicer execution, and provide the public with greater transparency of mortgage assistance efforts.

The new compliance metrics and benchmarks introduced with the ""third-quarter assessments"":http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=Oct2013MHAReport.pdf are expected to provide greater insight into the impact of servicer performance on the borrower's experience and allow for trending analysis of all compliance metrics.

Three new compliance metrics have been added to the performance reviews related to the timeliness of single

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point of contact assignments, communicating reasons for non-approval to borrowers who are rejected from the program, and processing and reporting defaulted loans that have been restructured through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

In addition, three existing compliance metrics have been removed from the program checklist. They include servicers’ internal controls for: identifying and contacting homeowners, borrower evaluations, and program management and reporting.

For the third quarter of 2013, three servicers were found to need only minor improvements(Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and OneWest); three servicers were found to need moderate improvement (Ocwen, Select Portfolio Servicing, and Wells Fargo); and one servicer (CitiMortgage) was found to need substantial improvement.

While Treasury has withheld incentives from certain servicers in the past until they corrected problems identified by the servicer assessments, the Department said after considering all relevant factors, it determined that withholding servicer incentives was not warranted for this quarter, but officials warned servicer incentives will be withheld from CitiMortgage in future quarters if the company’s performance does not improve.

“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,” Treasury said ""in its report"":http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=Oct2013MHAReport.pdf, adding, “All servicers will need to continue to demonstrate progress in areas identified during program reviews.”

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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