Low mortgage rates continue to stabilize home prices, administration says

The November edition of the monthly scorecard shows that an extra 1 million families refinanced their mortgages in the last quarter, and new and existing home sales remain below levels seen in the first half of the year.

"The Obama Administration has made significant strides in promoting stability for the housing market and the nation's homeowners. Through a range of swift actions since we took office, we've seen millions more families able to stay in their homes and a steady rise in responsible borrowers refinancing their loans or becoming homeowners," said HUD Assistant Secretary Raphael Bostic. 

Over 3.73 million loan modification arrangements began between April 2009 and the end of August 2010, which more than doubled the number of foreclosures completed during that same time frame, the administration said.

These figures come after House lawmakers on both sides of the aisle hammered housing regulators, including those in the Treasury, for failing to prevent and combat the mishandling of mortgage documentation amid foreclosure proceedings at a hearing earlier in the day.

"The recent reports of problems in the foreclosure process underscore the importance of helping responsible homeowners avoid the pain of foreclosure," said acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Timothy Massad in a statement accompanying the release of the scorecard. As we implement additional program enhancements to reach more homeowners, we continue to stress to mortgage servicers the importance of making every effort to enroll eligible homeowners in [the Home Affordable Modification Program] and provide meaningful alternatives to avoidable foreclosures."