Foreclosure Prevention Gains Traction

Federal Reserve
Federal Reserve

The biggest federal program to fight home loan foreclosures is finally making some progress.

More than 116,000 homeowners had received permanent loan modifications through the federal Home Affordable Modification Program as of the end of January, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Another 76,000 homeowners have been approved for permanent modifications - officials are now waiting for them to return their signed documents. That's a total of 192,000 homeowners approved for permanent modifications - a big jump for the program, which struggled for most of 2009 to achieve any significant number of permanent loan modifications.

The stakes couldn't be higher. Foreclosures are the anvil holding down the housing market and its wobbly recovery.