June 10, 2011 (Chris Moore)

More than 4.8 million loan modification arrangements have been made to help keep homeowners in their homes between April 2009 and the end of March 2011 according to the Obama Administration’s May Housing Scorecard, with the total number of agreements more than double the number of foreclosure completions during the same period. However, the Administration reports that the overall housing market remains weak.

The government reports that 29,000 homeowners entered into a HAMP trial modification in April, and 29,000 homeowners received a permanent loan modification in the same month with a median monthly payment reduction of $526, a savings of 37 percent.

The Scorecard reports that the housing market remains fragile as data through May shows housing prices continue to remain weak, though a glimmer of hope appeared in this week’s CoreLogic report showing a small month-over-month increase in home prices after nearly a year of declines.

Mortgage delinquencies continued a downward trend that is primarily attributed to mortgage servicers continuing to delay foreclosure proceedings as they review internal procedures resulting from the “robo-signing” controversy last year.

Foreclosure starts and completions remain below peak, but foreclosure inventories continue to increase with an estimated 4.2 million homes in some stage of the foreclosure process.

“The housing data in this month’s Scorecard offer continued mixed signals and some signs of weakness in the market – despite growing evidence of progress in the broader economy,” said HUD Assistant Secretary Raphael Bostic. “The Administration remains committed to helping all homeowners who have been hit hard during this housing crisis, and as the Regional Spotlight shows our efforts have helped over 100,000 families avoid foreclosure in Phoenix. But we have much more work to do to reach the many households who still face trouble and to help the market recover.”

This month’s Scorecard was the first to highlight the progress of government modification efforts in Phoenix, Arizona, one of the hardest hit cities in the nation.

More than 65,000 government mortgage assistance interventions have been offered to area homeowners since mortgage modification efforts began in April 2009. The area has also had an estimated 40,000 to 42,000 proprietary modifications offered through HOPENOW Alliance servicers for a total of approximately 106,000 mortgage assistance interventions in the area.

These efforts have helped more Phoenix area homeowners keep their homes than the number of those who have lost their home, 104,500, to foreclosure.

Tags: May Housing Scorecard, Obama Administration, loan modification, foreclosure completions, monthly payment reduction, housing prices, mortgage delinquencies, foreclosure starts, foreclosure completions