Administration Rips Four Major Mortgage Lenders

Four of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders are “in need of substantial improvement” to service homeowners applying for mortgage modifications under the Making Home Affordable Program (HAMP).

Three of the four companies won’t receive payment for servicing loan modifications this month until they address all areas of non-compliance, Treasury announced yesterday.

The four lenders are Bank of America, NA; J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.; Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC; and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Treasury is not withholding payments to Ocwen this quarter as their compliance results were substantially and negatively affected by a large servicing portfolio acquired during the compliance testing period.

Reviews conducted through the first quarter focused on identifying and contacting homeowners; homeowner evaluation and assistance; and program reporting, management and governance.

In addition to the four lenders in serious need of improvement, Treasury said  six servicers have been identified as needing moderate improvement.

Under HAMP more than 4.8 million modification arrangements were started between April 2009 and the end of March 2011. While some homeowners may have received help from more than one program, the total number of agreements offered more than doubled the number of foreclosure completions for the same period (2 million). In April, 29,000 homeowners received a trial HAMP modification, and 29,000 additional homeowners received a permanent modification with a median payment reduction of 37 percent-or more than $500 every month.

On March 30, the House voted to end HAMP, the last of the Administration’s four programs to reduce foreclosures.

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