Nearly one out of four homeowners offered help under the Obama administration's mortgage modification drive have fallen out of the program so far, according to Treasury data released Monday.
The monthly report on the Home Affordable Modification Program showed that about 1.2 million trial modifications had been started under the plan and about 281,000 homeowners had been dropped by the end of April.
Under Hamp, which was launched in early 2009, homeowners are first offered trial modifications. If they make the payments and satisfy other criteria, those trial modifications are made "permanent," ensuring a cut in payments for five years.
At the end of April, about 295,000 homeowners had been given permanent modifications, up 30% from a month earlier. The number of borrowers in trials was down 18% from a month earlier, to 637,000. Many people have been eliminated during the trials because they failed to make payments or did not provide documents on their income and assets to show that they qualified for the program.
Even after getting a mortgage modification, many borrowers are still awash in debt. Borrowers who have received modifications were spending a median of 64% of their pretax income on total debt payments at April 30, the Treasury Department said. Those debt payments include mortgages, property taxes and insurance, homeowners association or condo fees and payments on credit cards, car loans and alimony.