September 29, 2011 (Shirley Allen)

The number of proprietary loan modifications remained virtually the same from July to August according to HOPE NOW, the voluntary, private sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and non-profit counselors. Meanwhile, foreclosure starts jumped up almost 18 percent from the previous month.

The organization reports that 55,828 homeowners received permanent, proprietary loan modifications in August compared to 55,687 in July. Almost 4.86 million proprietary loan modifications and Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) loan modifications have been completed since 2007.

Through the end of July, 4.06 million proprietary loan modifications have been completed while 791,399 loan modifications have been completed under HAMP.

Of the proprietary loan modifications completed, 83 percent (46,314) included reduced monthly principal and interest payments, with 68 percent (37,730) receiving a reduction of more than 10 percent. In addition, 83 percent (46,608) received fixed interest rate loans of five years or more.

Total proprietary modifications and HAMP modifications for August were about 82,000, likely falling below the 84,015 total loan modifications in July. Freddie Mac reported 8,639 HAMP modifications in August while Fannie Mae has yet to report their August totals, but through July has been averaging about 17,000 HAMP loan modifications per month.

Monthly foreclosure starts jumped up in August with 217,955 starts recorded, compared to 185,076 in July, an increase of 17.7 percent. Completed foreclosure sales also increased from 64,578 in July to 67,663 in August, a gain of 4.8 percent.

Mortgage delinquencies that are at least 60 days past due decreased from 2.810 million properties in July to 2.796 million in August.

Faith Schwartz, Executive Director of HOPE NOW, stated, “We understand that unemployment, medical hardships and other financial issues have deeply affected the nation’s homeowners, said Schwartz. “Many people have fallen behind on their mortgage payments. But it is important to continue to convey the message that mortgage servicers are working tirelessly with their customers. Whether it is through localized outreach events or regional bricks and mortar centers, there are opportunities for homeowners to get one on one mortgage assistance.”

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