WASHINGTON (6/23/10)--The Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) on Tuesday reported that loan modifications and refinancings by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “increased significantly in the first quarter as the volume of permanent modifications under the Administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) tripled, and refinancings steadily grew under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).” In a release, the FHFA said that foreclosure prevention activities increased 75%, with HAMP permanent modifications totaling 136,000 and HARP cumulative refinance volume increasing 53% during the first quarter of 2010. A total of 66% of loan modifications that were completed in the final quarter of 2009 reduced the monthly payments of participating mortgage holders by over 20%, the FHFA added. An administration official earlier this year said that the HAMP program, which aims to help struggling homeowners by modifying their mortgages, is currently on course to modify as many as 4 million mortgages by 2012. A total of 17 credit unions took part in the HAMP program in 2009. For the full release, use the resource link.