JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo are pursuing short sales more aggressively than other loan servicers participating in the government’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program, according to the latest figures released by the Treasury Department.

Together, the two companies accounted for nearly two-thirds of the 17,781 agreements loan servicers had entered into with homeowners through May giving them the go-ahead for an attempted HAFA short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

Loan servicers successfully completed short sales on 8,309 of those agreements, and granted deed-in-lieu of foreclosure on 232 more, with JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo accounting for 60 percent of those deals.

Bank of America, by contrast, had entered into only 2,524 short sale and deed-in-lieu agreements — less than half as many as either JPMorgan Chase or Wells Fargo — completing 1,630 of those agreements through May.

Select Portfolio Servicing Inc. had completed 471 HAFA short sales and deed-in-lieus, followed by Litton Loan Servicing LP with 424. All other loan servicers combined had started 1,708 agreements and completed about half.

HAFA activity by servicer

Servicer

Agreements started

Agreements completed

Bank of America

2,524

1,630

JPMorgan Chase Bank

6,120

2,686

Litton Loan Servicing LP

1,044

424

Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc.

1,057

471

Wells Fargo Bank

5,328

2,478

All other servicers

1,708

852

Total

17,781

8,541

Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury

The HAFA program provides a streamlined process and offers incentives for homeowners, loan servicers and mortgage investors to pursue a short sale or deed-in-lieu.

Homeowners who are eligible for the governments Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) but don’t qualify for a loan modification, miss at least two payments on a modification, or who request a short sale may qualify for a HAFA short sale. All loan servicers participating in HAMP must adopt HAFA policies, although those policies can take into account investor guidelines and factors such as loss severity.

Homeowners participating in approved HAFA short sales receive $3,000 in relocation assistance, and loan servicers are paid $1,500 to cover administrative and processing costs. Investors can receive up to $2,000 when they allow short-sale proceeds to be distributed to subordinate lien holders on a one-for-three matching basis.

More than 1.6 million homeowners have received trial loan modifications under HAMP, with 756,521 of those canceled and another 731,451 moving into permanent loan modifications. Another 97,992 permanent modifications have been canceled, leaving 633,459 active permanent modifications and 126,751 active trial modifications in place at the end up April

Loan servicers started nearly 5 million loan modifications between April 2009 and the end of April 2011, the Obama administration said in its latest "Housing Scorecard," a figure that includes non-HAMP loan mods and may double count some homeowners who have received help from more than one program. Foreclosure completions for the same period totaled 2.1 million, the report said.

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