Home Equity Grew by $815 bln in Q1

The
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S.
Department of the Treasury today released the May edition of the
Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard. The scorecard summarizes
the current status of the nation’s housing market using data
collected from a number of sources such as RealtyTrac, SP/Case
Shiller, CoreLogic, National Association of Realtors and the U.S.
Census regarding home prices, foreclosures, residential construction,
and home sales. Most of this data has been previously reported by
MortgageNewsDaily.

“As
the May housing scorecard indicates, the Obama Administration’s
policies and actions over the last four years to speed housing
recovery are continuing to show important signs of progress,” said
HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs Kurt Usowski. “In
the first quarter of 2013, homeowners’ equity grew by more than
$815 billion, reaching its highest level since the first quarter of
2008. Despite the positive news, we have important work ahead since
there are so many families and individuals still ‘underwater’
with mortgage balances higher than their home’s value.”

The
report incorporates by reference the monthly report of the Making
Home Affordable
Program (MHA), the administrations umbrella
foreclosure prevention program. A number of programs operate under
MHA including the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), the
2MP second lien modification program, Home Affordable Foreclosure
Alternatives (HAFA), and the Unemployment Program (UP).

Since
the last report which covered MHA activities through March 2013,
16,703 new loan modification trials have started through HAMP. This
brings the cumulative total of trials initiated to 2.033 million
since the program began in April 2009. Trials were converted to
permanent status for 11,966 since the last report and there have now
been a total of 1.191 million permanent modifications implemented.
Permanent modifications that remain active as of this date number
870,038 and there are 67,855 active trials.

The
2MP program provides modifications and extinguishments of second
liens where there has been a HAMP modification on the same property.
To date the program has initiated 110,722 second lien modifications
and has fully extinguished 27,804 junior liens of a median value of
$61,285 and partially extinguished 7,816. The median value of a
partial extinguishment is $9,666. Since the last MHA report 1,409
second lien modifications have been started.

HAFA
provides options to homeowners who are willing to exit homeownership
but wish to avoid foreclosure. It typically involves a short sale to
a third party or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. The program has
provided alternatives to 153,964 homeowners. GSE borrowers
represented 42,489 of the interventions, 43,207 of which resulted in
short sales and 282 in deeds-in-lieu. Of the 114,475 non-GSE
mortgages resolved, 108,335 resulted in short sales and 3,140 in
deeds-in-lieu. Since the last report a total of 13,530 cases have
been resolved through HAFA.

UP
provides temporary forbearance of mortgage principal to enable
unemployed borrowers to look for a new job without fear of
foreclosure. It has served 32,840 borrowers, 686 since the last
report.

HAMP
also released its quarterly assessments of servicer performance.
During the first quarter only four servicers, Bank of America, GMAC,
OneWest Bank, and Select Portfolio Servicing, were found to need
minor improvement
in their performance under MHA guidelines.
CitiMortgage, Ocwen Loan Servicing, Homeward Residential, JP Morgan
Chase Bank and Wells Fargo Bank were found to need moderate
improvement
. No servicers fell into the category of needing
substantial improvement.

Servicers
are also effectively evaluating homeowners’ eligibility. The “second
look disagree
” category which reflects the rate at which the
Treasury Department’s review of case files conflicts with servicers’
decisions not to assist the homeowner reflected only a 1 percent
disagreement rate
among top servicers.

“We
have kept the pressure on the mortgage industry to step up its
efforts, which has helped millions of families access relief in a
historic housing crisis,” said Treasury Assistant Secretary for
Financial Stability Tim Massad. “Making Home Affordable provides
standards and accountability for the mortgage industry that will now
help additional homeowners avoid foreclosure through 2015.”

 

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/06072013_housing_scorecard.asp

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