Housing Scorecard: Homeowner Equity Position Much Improved

The Departments
of Treasury and Housing and Urban Development released the August version of their
monthly Housing Scorecard this afternoon. The Scorecard is a summary of housing
data from various sources such as the SP/Case-Shiller house price indices,
the National Association of Realtors® existing home sales report, Census data,
and RealtyTrac foreclosure information. 
Most of the information has already been covered by MND. 

According to the
scorecard homeowner equity has risen to its highest level since the third
quarter of 2008
and 1.3 million borrowers have been lifted above water, largely
due to rising home prices.  Equity jumped
$406 billion or 5.9 percent to $7,275 billion in the second quarter of 2012.  Combined with a sharp increase in the first
quarter, equity has risen $863 billion or 13.5 percent so far this year and the
number of underwater borrowers has declined by 11 percent to 10.8 million. 

The Scorecard
includes by reference the monthly report on the Home Affordable Modification
Program (HAMP).  The current report
covers information through August. 

More than one
million homeowners have received permanent modifications through HAMP since the
program began in the spring of 2009 and the number of borrowers who have
started trial modifications is nearing two million and distressed borrowers
continue to enter the program.  Since the
last HAMP report there have been 14,582 new trials started for a total of
1,912,439.  In the last month 16,509
trials have been converted to permanent status for a cumulative total of
1,076,747.  There are 831,661 borrowers
who still have active modifications; the remainder have either redefaulted,
been cancelled for other reasons, or have paid off their loans,

A number of
other programs are active under the HAMP brand and have experienced activity
over the last month.

The 2MP program
works to modify second mortgages.  These
had previously presented a significant obstacle to the success of HAMP.  During the month the program either modified
or extinguished 3,863 second liens and to date have done so for 93,865 homeowners.

The Home
Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) Program offers incentives for
homeowners to exit homeownership through a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of
foreclosure.  In 20 percent of HAFA
agreements the homeowner had started a HAMP trial but was either disqualified
or later requested a HAFA agreement. 
During the report month, 10,831 borrowers completed a HAFA agreement,
the majority of them short sales.  Since
the program began there have been 71,403 HAFA resolutions, 69,615 of them short

The Treasury’s
MHA Unemployment Program (UP provides temporary forbearance to homeowners who
are unemployed.  Borrowers must be
considered for a minimum of 12 months forbearance.  The program served 871 homeowners during the
month and a total of 26,197 since it was implemented.

The performance
of servicers participating in the program has improved in a number of respects
after what is generally considered to have been an inauspicious beginning.  Revisions made to both borrower requirements
and servicer standards in June 2010 have resulted in most servicers now
responding to borrower requests, implementing trials, resolving problems, and
converting trials to permanent status in a timely manner.  Here are details provided by HAMP for some of
these metrics. 

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/10052012_hamp_housing_scorecard.asp

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