DES MOINES, Iowa - February 17, 2010
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) said today it continues to prevent foreclosures in communities across the country. As of Jan. 31, Wells Fargo had 137,128 active trial and completed federal Home Affordable Modifications in place, including 17,652 permanent modifications—double the number of permanent modifications as of the end of December—and 7,554 permanent modifications pending completion. In addition, the company has done more than 350,000 non-HAMP modifications, including active trials in place as of the end of January 2010 and modifications completed since the beginning of 2009.
From October 2009 through January 2010, Wells Fargo initiated or completed three modifications for every one foreclosure sale on owner-occupied properties. In the past 12 months, fewer than 2 percent of the loans secured by owner-occupied homes and serviced by Wells Fargo proceeded to a foreclosure sale. Data published in the Nov. 27 edition of Inside Mortgage Finance showed the company’s delinquency and foreclosure rates were two-thirds that of the industry in the third quarter of 2009, with about 92 percent of Wells Fargo’s mortgage customers continuing to make timely home payments.
“We continue to use a range of options to help customers facing home ownership hardships whenever possible,” said Mike Heid, co-president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “Our customers, communities and investors all benefit whenever a reasonable alternative to home foreclosure can be found.”
More than 92,000 Wells Fargo customers with Home Affordable Modifications had made all three trial payments as of Jan. 31, 2010 and the company expects about half of those will have their modifications completed. Most that had not made three payments were not yet scheduled for the third payment.
Based on its experience with Home Affordable Modifications, and taking into account new Treasury guidelines on handling incomplete documentation, Wells Fargo anticipates its modification efforts will break out as outlined below:
|Borrowers who have made three HAMP trial payments as of 1/31/10||92,000|
|Completed modifications expected||50%|
|Not eligible for HAMP after documents have been reviewed||30%|
|Some required documents not provided||10%|
|No required documents provided||10%|
Beginning March 1, ahead of the Treasury’s June 1 deadline, Wells Fargo will require income verification from customers before placing them into a trial Home Affordable Modification. Wells Fargo was one of the few companies that promoted this practice when HAMP first began, and believes it better enables customers to understand if they qualify and what their final payment relief likely will be.
Wells Fargo Outreach Efforts
According to Heid, Wells Fargo continues to contact customers facing hardships through a combination of telephone, overnight mail packages, door-to-door outreach and other methods. Since the end of 2008, the company has more than doubled its home preservation staff and now has more than 15,000 U.S.-based staff working on home retention.
Wells Fargo also is working to bring its modification efforts out into the communities it serves with two successful expanded customer contact initiatives for customers who prefer face-to-face assistance.
- Wells Fargo met with more than 6,300 customers at Home Preservation Workshops held in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago and Phoenix. Weeks prior to the event being held in their city, Wells Fargo sends personal invitations to customers who are delinquent on their payments asking them to attend the event and work face to face with a specialist. Walk-ins are always welcomed too. For Wells Fargo Home Mortgage customers attending these workshops about half received modifications on the spot or within a short period after the event. For the customers that have received a workout option, the majority have received a modification. The company has begun planning four more events in the first half of 2010—Los Angeles; Oakland, Calif.; Miami and St. Paul, Minn.—and is evaluating additional markets hit hard by foreclosures for the remaining half of the year.
- Beginning March 1, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage will invite customers in 27 distressed markets to discuss their workout options at a nearby Wells Fargo Home Preservation Center. In 2009, the company tested this concept with Wachovia Pick-a-Payment (negative amortizing and option adjustable rate mortgage) customers in areas – like California, Florida and Nevada – that were experiencing high numbers of foreclosures, and found it to be another beneficial way to help keep people in their homes. We are now expanding this service to all of loans that Wells Fargo Home Mortgage services. Through letters and phone calls, customers facing imminent hardships are invited to make an appointment to meet face-to-face with a home preservation specialist. We explain what the customers should bring with them, to help expedite the process.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is the nation’s leading mortgage lender and services one of every six mortgage loans in the nation. A division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., it has a national presence in mortgage stores and banking stores, and also serves the home financing needs of customers nationwide through its call centers, Internet presence and third-party production channels.
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 10,000 stores and 12,000 ATMs and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally.