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Tag Archives: Loan Modification

Treasury Reinstates HAMP Incentives as Servicers Show Improvement

Treasury says servicers participating in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) are getting better at evaluating homeowners for eligibility. Its latest performance assessment found no company in need of ""substantial improvement."" OneWest Bank and Select Portfolio Servicing performed at the highest level, needing only minor improvement. As part of the $25 billion settlement announced last month, Treasury has agreed to release incentives previously withheld from Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.

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BofA Will No Longer Sell New Loans to Fannie Mae

Bank of America will no longer sell new loans to Fannie Mae due to disputes over repurchase claims. The bank will still deliver modifications and refinancings for Fannie Mae loans. The disclosure was made Thursday in the bank's Securities and Exchange Commission Filing. In January 2011, the bank paid about $2.5 billion to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for loans that were allegedly originated with improper underwriting standards. Due to a settlement in June 2011, the bank also agreed to pay $8.5 billion to Bank of New York.

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Treasury Hosts Servicer Workshops for Florida Agents and Homeowners

Treasury is heading to the coastal cities of Miami and Tampa, Florida, this week in order to offer assistance to homeowners struggling with their mortgage payments. Treasury will host a ""Help for Homeowners"" outreach event in each of the hard-hit Florida cities where homeowners can meet one-on-one with their servicers. Before the homeowners arrive, though, Treasury has blocked off time for real estate professionals to meet with the servicers on behalf of their clients and to participate in short sale workshops led by the servicers themselves.

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Treasury Increases Incentives for Principal Reductions

A recently released Supplemental Directive from Treasury increases incentives for second lien investors when loans receive principal reductions. The increased incentives apply to permanent HAMP modifications with principal reductions through the government's Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA) that have trial period plans starting March 1 or later. Increased incentives are also available when second liens are completely or partially eliminated through the Second Lien Modification Program (2MP) on loans modified starting June 1.

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Obama Proposes Extending Tax Waiver on Mortgage Debt Forgiveness

Obama's FY2013 budget proposal includes an extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007. The Act ensures that homeowners who received principal reductions or other forms of debt forgiveness on their primary residences do not have to pay taxes on the amount forgiven. The administration is proposing an extension that would apply to any amounts forgiven before January 1, 2015. Otherwise, short sales and even modifications that reduce the debt qualify as income to the borrower.

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Federal Agencies Reiterate Guidelines for Junior Lien Holders

Four federal regulatory agencies issued guidance for junior lien holders regarding loan loss allowances. Junior liens include second mortgages and home equity lines of credit. The Federal Reserve, FDIC, National Credit Union Administration, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued the guidance not to enact new rules, but rather ""to reiterate policy and to remind regulated financial institutions to monitor all credit quality indicators relevant to credit portfolios, including junior liens,"" according to a joint release from the agencies.

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Mortgage Modifications Down 40%

An estimated 1.05 million homeowners received permanent loan modifications from mortgage servicers in 2011, according to year-end data released Tuesday by HOPE NOW. That tally includes both proprietary and government-program mods, and represents a 40 percent decline from the 1.76 million modifications granted in 2010. At the same time, HOPE NOW reports loan modifications outpaced foreclosure sales for the fourth consecutive year. In 2011, there were approximately 843,000 foreclosure sales completed, down from 1.07 million in 2010.

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HAMP Mods Approach 1M Mark

More than 930,000 homeowners have received a permanent modification through the government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), saving an estimated $10.5 billion in monthly mortgage payments, according to Treasury. While this tally - nearly three years after the program's launch - falls well short of the results initially promised by President Obama of helping 3 to 4 million homeowners restructure their loans, federal officials continue to tout a key success of HAMP as improving standards and processes within the industry.

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New York Housing Counselor Charged with Defrauding Homeowners

A New York housing counselor has been sentenced to 72 months in jail and three years supervision by a U.S. District Court judge after defrauding 136 homeowners who reached out for help as they attempted to avoid foreclosure. The judge also ordered Lori J. Macakanja to pay $298,639 in restitution to the homeowners affected. Macakanja reportedly required upfront fees from homeowners and promised in return to help them achieve mortgage modifications in order to stave off foreclosure.

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National Servicing Standards Emerge in New Homeowner Bill of Rights

The mortgage servicing system is badly broken and would benefit from a single set of federal standards, according to White House officials. President Obama on Wednesday introduced what he's termed the Homeowner Bill of Rights - principles that he says will ensure borrowers and lenders are playing by the same common-sense rules. These rules address disclosures, conflicts of interest posed by investors and junior lien holders, assistance for at-risk homeowners, and safeguards to prevent wrongful foreclosures.

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