US home loan modifications

The Obama administration today released the long-awaited permanent modification data for the Making Home Affordable loan modification programme. Those who were expecting low rates of permanent modifications weren’t disappointed.

Only 31,382 of the 728,000 loans being modified in the trial phase – less than 5 per cent – have been made permanent.

Bank of America, which has over 1m estimated mortgages eligible for the programme, has converted 98 loans from trial to permanent. By contrast, GMAC Mortgage holds 67,539 eligible mortgages, 7,111 of which are permanently modified, more than any other provider.

The low rate of modifications calls into question the effectiveness of the administration’s $75bn programme to keep homeowners in their houses. Administration officials met with mortgage providers earlier this week to encourage them to speed the transition to permanent modifications.

Even with the low number of modifications, the administration says it remains on track to meet its modification goals over the next several years.

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