HOPE LoanPort, a Web-based portal developed by the HOPE NOW Alliance of loan servicers to streamline the collection of loan modification applications, is catching on with loan servicers and housing counselors.

More than 1,700 housing counselors from 360 organizations in 47 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico are using or have committed to use HOPE LoanPort to transmit completed loan modification applications to mortgage servicers.

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), an association of more than 600 community-based organizations, announced today that it’s endorsing HOPE LoanPort, citing its ability to help its network of counselors deal with the high volume of loan mod applications.

Counselors submitting completed applications to loan servicers through HOPE LoanPort can count on the applications being reviewed in a timely fashion, the group said, and servicers using the portal have agreed to provide regular status updates on applications, allowing homeowners to track their progress.

With the addition of Wells Fargo last month, a total of 13 loan servicers — including Bank of America, Chase and Citi — are now accepting loan modifications applications through HOPE LoanPort.

With 3 million homeowners behind on their mortgages, HOPE NOW loan servicers are completing loan modifications at a pace of about 150,000 per month. Foreclosure starts totaled about 250,000 in September, and there were 120,000 completed foreclosure sales.

According to the latest numbers from the HOPE NOW Alliance, its members completed 120,000 "proprietary" loan modifications in September outside of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), plus 27,840 HAMP modifications. Among HOPE NOW proprietary loan modifications, 78 percent provided reduced monthly payments through principal and interest reductions, the group said.

Powered by RxOffice, HOPE LoanPort was designed to help housing counselors collect complete modification applications that include all required data elements and documents. The Web-based utility can flag potential issues while a borrower is working with a counselor to complete a loan mod application, and while servicers are reviewing a case.

In early 2009, the HOPE NOW Alliance launched a service allowing borrowers to complete an online intake form to request assistance.

In a pilot program launched in November 2009, the form was expanded to allow housing counselors to collect all of the information needed to complete a loan modification application and submit it to servicers online.

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