Monthly Archives: January 2012

Administration Revamps HAMP to Reach More Borrowers


The Obama administration has announced changes to its flagship foreclosure prevention initiative – the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) – which officials say will expand its reach to more distressed homeowners.

Among the changes, borrowers who are struggling because of debt beyond their mortgage will be eligible for a secondary evaluation with more flexible debt-to-income criteria, and eligibility will be extended to investor-owned homes that are used as rental properties.
The administration is also giving principal reductions a bigger role within the program, tripling incentives for investors that agree to write down an underwater borrower’s principal and offering these same incentives to the nation’s two biggest mortgage investors – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


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WSJ: Housing Inventory Ends Year Down 22%

This is very true, however, in our local market Bakersfield, CA we have dropped nearly 50% in inventory from 2100 home on the market 18 months ago to now under 1000 homes that are currently active in our MLS.

Wall Street Journal-
There were fewer homes listed for sale at the end of 2011 than in any of the previous four years, a positive sign for the housing sector.

But appearances can be deceiving, and it remains to be seen whether the drop is the beginning of a real recovery or if inventory is being held down by sellers waiting for prices to pick up and banks moving slowly on foreclosures.

The 1.89 million homes on the market at the end of December represented a 6% decline from November and a 22.3% decline from one year ago, according to data compiled by

Low inventories are an important ingredient for any housing recovery because prices could firm up in markets that have worked through their inventory.

Still, some real-estate agents aren’t celebrating because there’s a large backlog of potential foreclosures that haven’t yet been taken back and listed by banks. The inventory declines are particularly pronounced in certain states where banks have sharply slowed down foreclosures to correct document-handling abuses.

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More failed HAMP trials end in foreclosure

Monday, January 16th, 2012, 12:00 pm


Mortgage servicers are putting more failed Home Affordable Modification Program trials through foreclosure than they were one year ago.


According to Treasury Department data released last week, 10.6% of the more that 615,000 canceled HAMP trials completed the foreclosure process as of Nov. 1. That’s more than double the 4.4% of failed HAMP trials foreclosed on as of November 2010.


While foreclosures are increasing, alternative modifications on these loans are dropping. Of the canceled HAMP trials, 39.7% went through the bank’s own private programs, down from 45.4% over the same time period, according to Treasury data.


Foreclosure completions as a percentage of borrowers never accepted into HAMP trials are lower but still increasing as well. Of the 1.8 million borrowers denied a HAMP trial, 7.6% completed the foreclosure process as of Nov. 1, up from 5% one year before.


Roughly 26.5% of these borrowers received alternative modifications, which held flat over the last year.


The increase in more foreclosure completions on failed HAMP trials occurred at nearly every large servicing shop participating in the program. Citigroup (C: 30.74 -2.72%) saw the highest jump. Of the 71,808 HAMP trials it canceled, roughly 13.5% completed the foreclosure process as of Nov. 1, up from 3.1% one year ago.


At Ally Financial (GJM: 21.32 -0.28%), the percentage increased to 12.8% from 6.4% over the same period. At JPMorgan Chase, the increase went to 11.3% from 6.2%. And at Bank of America (BAC: 6.61 -2.65%), the largest servicer in the program, 9.3% of failed HAMP trials went through foreclosure compared to just 1.9% the year before.


The highest percentage is currently held by OneWest Bank. It foreclosed on more than 19% of its roughly 20,000 failed HAMP trials, up from 10% last year.


Interestingly, Wells Fargo (WFC: 29.61 0.00%) has one of the lowest percentages of completed foreclosures on these mods at 6.7%, almost the exact same percentage one year before.


This could be a sign servicers are both skirting poorer performing private modification programs or the data is beginning to reflect these higher redefault rates.


According to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 17% of the 108,000 HAMP modifications began in the second quarter of 2010 went 60 or more days delinquent within one year. That’s compared to a 31% redefault rate for other private programs.


D. Corwyn Jackson, whose company The Corwyn Group helps to train housing counselors for foreclosure prevention, said servicers are getting mixed signals from the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae, which administers HAMP, Freddie Mac and other stakeholders across the country.


“The servicers are mandated to stick to the agreed upon foreclosure time lines by state,” Jackson said. “But other stakeholders such as nonprofit housing counseling agencies across the nation are requesting servicers during the negotiation to exhaust their loan workout options before starting the foreclosure process.”


The GSEs charge servicers for taking too long to complete the foreclosure process under specific, state-by-state guidelines. Servicers are expected to still consider the borrower for the GSE programs, but time is of the essence. BofA, for example had to pay Fannie and Freddie $1.3 billion in foreclosure delay penalties in the first nine months of 2011.


GSE policies and the failed HAMP trial foreclosure rates is beginning to show in the overall economy. Over the same time period covered by the Treasury data, the shadow inventory of homes in foreclosure or on the verge it has been declining. According to CoreLogic (CLGX: 13.48 -0.96%), roughly 1.6 million homes sit in this inventory, down from 2.1 million in November 2010.

ARTICLE LOCATED HERE: More failed HAMP trials end in foreclosure.

Write to Jon Prior.


Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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