Reports that were released here in early July have continued to track the modification data for various banks participating in HAMP, and according to the recent Treasury Department information on Citigroup, current numbers have shown that relatively few active permanent modifications were seen by this particular bank from April to May. There have been differences in the number of permanent home loan modifications that many of the major banks have seen, but many did report increases in their permanent home loan modification plans that are currently in place, yet there were some increases that were much more dramatic than others.
The Treasury Data, once again, has tracked information through the month of May of this year, but from April until May, Citigroup only saw an increase in the number of active program modifications from 45,459 to 45,976. While some argue that this is still an increase and, obviously, there are some benefits still being seen from the federal modification initiatives, homeowners feel that there are more results that should be seen at the present time due to changes that are in place within the program, like ways to streamline homeowner communication efforts by providing a single point of contact with their financial institution.
Yet, some banks which may not have seen such a major increase as others, in the area of active permanent modifications, may have seen more positive results in areas like the number of borrowers who were thought to be delinquent, which is one area of data that more officials are watching as the fewer homeowners who are in need of a modification would obviously lead to fewer permanent modifications that are being made over the months, yet this is more desirable for the housing market.
For homeowners that are specifically with Citigroup though, there may be outside factors that have contributed to such a small increase in the number of active permanent modifications, as there are not only homeowners being helped through the federal modification initiative but homeowners are also seeing aid from state-specific plans and in-house modification programs too. Understandably, there are still homeowners who are finding themselves in a position where delinquency may be close or missed payments may have already occurred, and if this is the case homeowners are being urged to still contact their servicer immediately and begin the process of exploring foreclosure prevention opportunities.
While there are also numbers increasing for servicers in the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives initiative, short selling a home or surrendering a deed should obviously be the last choice that a homeowner uses when dealing with a home that may not have an affordable mortgage. While HOPE Hotline housing counselors may be able to help homeowners explore more of these options in terms of how they will affect their specific situation, homeowners should remember that no matter what Treasury Department data may show, major servicers like Citigroup are still offering modification options for their homeowners, so this is a viable route that homeowners might still be able to benefit from when it comes to preventing foreclosure.