April HAMP Report Card Shows Modifications Rising
Today, the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development Departments released April data on the Home Affordable Modification Program, the Obama administration’s effort to modify mortgages in order to stem the tide of foreclosures and keep families in their homes. Modifications increased 13 percent month-to-month, to 300,000.
“As the number of homeowners receiving permanent modifications continues to increase, the administration’s comprehensive efforts are making an impact in the housing market’s overall recovery,” the Federal Housing Administration’s commissioner, David Stevens, said in a statement. “Today, mortgage rates remain at historic lows, around five percent; foreclosure starts are down 27 percent from last year this time; and home prices and the pace of home sales have stabilized in recent months.”
Still, the housing market remains weak and HAMP remains far short of its goal to aid 3 or 4 million homeowners by 2012. As of April, HAMP had started 1.2 million modifications, but the program had dropped more than 280,000 homeowners — a surprisingly high rate. And many of the mortgage holders aided by HAMP remain far underwater on their mortgages, and thus more likely to walk away from their homes.