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CALABASAS, CA., April 12 (PRNewswire) - Bank of America has placed nearly 33,000 struggling homeowners into completed mortgage modifications with affordable payments under the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), including more than 12,000 since the previous monthly report. HAMP is the mortgage modification component of the government's comprehensive Making Home Affordable program that is aimed at helping homeowners avoid foreclosure and stabilizing the housing market under difficult economic conditions.
"We anticipated the momentum of completion of HAMP modifications would build as we entered spring, and we're seeing that," said Jack Schakett, loss mitigation strategies executive for Bank of America. "As more homeowners have completed their required trial payment period and provided the information necessary for underwriting, an increasing number of Bank of America customers are receiving long-term assistance through the government initiative and the efforts of our associates."
According to Bank of America's monthly report of HAMP progress to the Department of Treasury as of April 8, 32,900 customers completed the entire process and now have a permanent HAMP modification, up from 20,666 reported a month earlier. More than 12,200 reached permanent status since the previous report, making this the bank's most productive month to date.
In addition to its progress in HAMP, Bank of America's industry leadership in providing customers with a full range of benefits of the Making Home Affordable program is demonstrated by its participation and accomplishments in other facets of the government's broad initiative. These include:
First servicer to sign an agreement to participate in the HAMP second lien modification program (2MP) in January, about two months ahead of other major servicers and the March 26 release of the government guidelines for the program.
On April 1, became the first major servicer to begin extending 2MP modification offers to homeowners who have completed first lien modifications under HAMP; and ahead of full implementation of operational systems at the federal level.
Implementation underway of the new Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative program to streamline short sales of properties for eligible borrowers who cannot complete a HAMP modification.
More than 190,000 mortgages refinanced under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) to benefit homeowners, including more than 100,000 loans with loan-to-value ratios exceeding 80 percent, making them difficult to finance outside of government-supported programs in today's tight credit market.
Making Home Affordable is at the center of Bank of America's homeownership retention efforts today. However, since January 2008, Bank of America has completed another 535,000 modifications outside of HAMP through proprietary programs.
Additionally, last month, the bank announced industry-pacesetting enhancements to its National Homeownership Retention Program unveiled in October 2008 to assist certain former customers of Countrywide who have types of loans that have proven to be at the greatest risk of default. The enhancements include a first look at principal reduction, ahead of a decrease in interest rate and term extension, when modifying eligible loans that are severely underwater or Pay-Option ARMs with balances that have increased due to negative amortization. Eligible homeowners will have the opportunity to earn forgiveness of a portion of their principal balance by making payment in good standing over a period of years.