Home/Mortgages/Loan Modifications Increase in November, Foreclosures Decline

January 20, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Both proprietary and government loan modifications increased slightly in November according to HOPE NOW, the voluntary, private sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and non-profit counselors, while foreclosure starts fell over 20 percent.

A total of 56,948 homeowners received permanent, proprietary loan modifications in November compared to 53,394 in October, an increase of 6.7 percent.

Of the proprietary loan modifications completed, 68 percent (38,952) included reduced monthly principal and interest payments, with 66 percent (37,502) receiving a reduction of more than 10 percent. In addition, 83 percent (47,404) received fixed interest rate loans of five years or more.

Loan modifications under the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) remained almost unchanged from October to November with government agencies completing 26,877 loan modifications in November compared to 26,102 in October.

A total of 83,825 proprietary loan modifications and HAMP loan modifications were completed in November, 5.4 percent higher than the 79,496 loan modifications completed in October.

Since HOPE NOW began reporting data in 2007 and through the end of November, an estimated 5.13 million proprietary and Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) loan modifications have been completed, of which an estimated 4.22 million were proprietary loan modifications and 909,953 have been loan modifications completed under HAMP.

Faith Schwartz, Executive Director of HOPE NOW, stated, “The mortgage industry and its partners have worked hard for homeowners nationwide. With almost one million loan modifications completed in the first eleven months of 2011 and over 5 million since 2007, it is clear that efforts to assist at-risk families via all available channels are bearing some fruit.”

Monthly foreclosure starts fell in November with 165,547 starts recorded, compared to 208,776 in October, a decline of 20.7 percent. Completed foreclosure sales increased from 64,389 in October to 70,626 in November.

Mortgage delinquencies that are at least 60 days past due increased from 2.646 million loans in October to 2.766 million in November.

“There are more alternatives to foreclosure than ever before for homeowners through federal programs, proprietary modifications, and state level initiatives such as Hardest Hit Funds. Mortgage servicers and non-profit, housing counselors are using all tools at their disposal to find options that fit each individual homeowner’s situation whenever possible. The emphasis continues to be on improving the customer experience through enhanced technology, single point of contact and leveraging all tools available to assist,” Schwartz added.

Tags: HOPE NOW, private sector alliance, mortgage servicers, loan modifications, fixed rate mortgages, delinquencies, proprietary modifications, foreclosure starts, foreclosure sales