Housing scorecard shows steady improvement by mortgage servicers
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WASHINGTON, June 7 (UPI) -- The May housing scorecard said U.S. mortgage servicers showed progress in implementing the Making Home Affordable program, Obama administration officials said.

"Data continue to show important progress across many key indicators, as the annual home price increase is the highest since the housing bubble burst in mid-2006 and purchases of new and existing homes remain strong," the Treasury Department said in a release, cautioning "a full housing recovery will take more time."

"In the first quarter of 2013, homeowners' equity grew by more than $815 billion, reaching its highest level since the first quarter of 2008," Housing and Urban Development Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs Kurt Usowski said. "Despite the positive news, we have important work ahead since there are so many families and individuals still 'underwater' with mortgage balances higher than their home's value."

Since inception of the Making Home Affordable Program, the Treasury Department has required participating servicers to take specific actions to improve their processes through program reviews.

"We have kept the pressure on the mortgage industry to step up its efforts, which has helped millions of families access relief in a historic housing crisis," said Assistant Treasury Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad. "Making Home Affordable provides standards and accountability for the mortgage industry that will now help additional homeowners avoid foreclosure through 2015."

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