Wells Fargo has signed the second-lien modification component of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) with US Department of Treasury. The program will be offered to qualified Wells Fargo and Wachovia second-lien mortgage customers who have completed their HAMP modifications on their first mortgage.

Wells Fargo has already implemented a various own programs to assist its home equity customers. Since last year, the company’s home equity group has participated in Wells Fargo-sponsored home preservation events in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Phoenix and St Paul to provide customers the opportunity to talk face-to-face about their payment challenges. Three more events will be held in the first half of this year in Los Angeles, Oakland, and Miami.

Over the past two years, Wells Fargo reached out to customers through telephone calls, mail and other means to discuss potential assistance options. In addition, the company added more than 2,000 team members to its staff to focus on helping its customers who may be struggling to make their home equity payments.

As a result of these efforts, as of the end of February 2010, Wells Fargo provided assistance to more than 180,000 second-lien mortgage customers through various programs, including loan modifications and subordinations, and more than a half million first mortgage customers with first-lien modifications. This included 139,065 active trial and completed first-lien HAMP modifications.

Given the HAMP focus on affordability and documentation, Wells Fargo expects loans modified under the new second-lien program to have a similar quality and performance to those made under its own internal programs.

Borrowers with second-lien mortgages who qualify for a first-lien HAMP need to contact their first-mortgage providers to determine their eligibility for the new federal program. Moreover, servicers participating in the program are required to contact all first-lien HAMP customers with second-lien mortgages to make them aware of the new payment relief option.

Kevin Moss, executive vice president of home equity group at Wells Fargo, said: “The second-lien modification program offers struggling homeowners with yet another valuable option for reducing payments so they can remain in their homes. This program is an important component of joint industry and government efforts to bring further stability to the housing market.

“With so many families challenged by current economic conditions, Wells Fargo remains committed to providing help to customers who qualify for HAMP and those who don’t. This new program will help expedite our efforts and likely increase the number of borrowers we can assist through loan modifications, which will benefit our customers, our communities and our shareholders.”