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Friday, August 3, 2012 - 15:00

US Tsy: Completed 17.2k Perm HAMP Mtg Mods In Jun Vs 17.6k May

WASHINGTON (MNI) - The pace of mortgage modifications through the Obama administration's flagship mortgage modification program appears to be leveling off, as the number of permanent mortgage modifications completed in June was nearly identical to May and about the same as previous months in 2012 -- if not slightly slower.

The Treasury Department Friday said there were 17,192 loan modifications under the Making Home Affordable Program completed in June versus 17,590 in May.

Through June, there have been over one million permanent HAMP mortgage modifications completed since the programs inception two years ago.

"HAMP continues to offer the deepest and most sustainable assistance available to prevent foreclosure," Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad said in a statement.

Erika Poethig, Housing and Urban Development acting assistant secretary reiterated in a statement alongside Massad the administration's stance that more should be done to help housing.

Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner publicly criticized the Federal Housing Finance Agency after it denied a request by the administration to accept Troubled Asset Relief Program funds for principal reduction in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages.

The Treasury had said it would pay the same incentives that it pays servicers for writing down loan principal for non-GSE loans through the HAMP Principal Reduction Alternative program.

In June, the Treasury said there 3,741 permanent HAMP-PRA modifications reported, with 60,778 active. In May, the Treasury said there 57,756 HAMP-PRA modifications active.

Because the vast majority of outstanding loans have been stamped by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it is unlikely principal reduction in mortgage modifications will become far reaching.

Still, housing remains the focal point for the administration.

"We remain committed to utilizing the tools we have available to help our country heal faster from an unprecedented crisis," Massad said.

** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **

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