The government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) finally gained momentum in November with servicers completing 30,000 permanent loan restructurings, a 15% rise from October.

It was the program's strongest month since August when participating residential servicers completed nearly 33,350 mods.

In April, servicers completed 68,000 HAMP modifications, but the strong numbers posted that month quickly dropped with the Treasury Department requiring servicers to pre-qualify borrowers before placing them in the three-month payment trials. Previously, payment trial candidates did not have to document their income.

The November report also shows that the number of candidates entering the payment trials rose to 31,300, compared to 26,100 in October.

Since the summer of 2009, nearly 550,000 borrowers have been granted permanent modifications under the HAMP program, which reduces their payments to 31% of income. The average reduction in monthly mortgage payments is just over $500.

Approximately 44,400 of those borrowers have re-defaulted.

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