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UPDATE 1-U.S. Treasury: November Home Loan Modifications up

Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 12:58 PM

(Adds November dropout figure, background)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department said on Wednesday that about 30,000 homeowners facing foreclosure got permanent help in November through a loan modification program that should help them keep their homes, an increase from 23,750 in October.

The homeowners received a permanent modification to their mortgage payment as opposed to a temporary new payment, which requires more paperwork to be made permanent.

About 18,000 borrowers dropped out of the Obama administration's premier foreclosure prevention program, called the Home Affordable Mortgage Program, or HAMP, in November, bringing the total since its inception to about 774,000.

About 1.46 million delinquent borrowers were eligible for help under the program.

Treasury said there were about 505,000 borrowers at the end of November who had active permanent loan modifications in place, up from 483,000 in October.

That is well short of the administration's early goal of helping 3 million to 4 million homeowners, an aim that has since been scaled back.

Treasury launched HAMP to try to find a way to reduce mortgage payments for struggling homeowners who wanted to keep their homes but who were at imminent risk of foreclosure.

But it is widely regarded as a flawed program, and the incoming Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Representative Darrell Issa, has called for an end to the program.

The U.S. housing market continues to struggle as high unemployment and tight lending standards hamper recovery.

Data on Wednesday from the National Association of Realtors showed about one-third of all sales of previously owned homes are so-called distressed sales, which includes both foreclosures and sales of homes where the bank agrees to take less than what is owed. (Reporting by Glenn Somerville and Corbett B. Daly; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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(Adds November dropout figure, background) WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department said on Wednesday that about 30,000 homeowners facing foreclosure got permanent help in November through a loan modification program that should help them keep their homes,...
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