Home/Mortgages/Private Loan Modifications Fall 20 Percent in February

April 3, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Proprietary loan modifications fell over 20 percent in February while the spike in foreclosure starts and sales that occurred in January fell back to December’s levels according to HOPE NOW, the voluntary, private sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and non-profit counselors.

Using a three month rolling average, a total of 44,459 homeowners received permanent, proprietary loan modifications in February down 20.3 percent from the 55,775 loan modifications in January.

Of the proprietary loan modifications completed, 82 percent (36,495) included reduced monthly principal and interest payments, with 75 percent (33,551) receiving a reduction of more than 10 percent. In addition, 90 percent (40,103) of the loan modifications received fixed interest rate loans of five years or more.

Loan modifications under the federal government’s HAMP program were not reported for February, however, modifications under the government’s program have been on the decline and are expected to be at about the same level or less than the 17,992 loan modifications in January.

Monthly foreclosure starts fell back to previous levels following an 18.7 percent spike in January. Foreclosure starts fell 16.6 percent from January to February, declining from 200,447 to 167,114.

Faith Schwartz, Executive Director of HOPE NOW, stated, “There are many moving parts in the foreclosure prevention process and we anticipate that one month will not define any significant trends. However, one of our key data points showed that we saw a decline in the total number of serious delinquencies – loans that are 60 or more days past due – for February. HOPE NOW, and its member organizations, continues to work hard on behalf of at-risk homeowners through many different channels. Foreclosure prevention solutions continue to evolve as there are now several options available to borrowers through government programs and as well as private industry ones.”

Completed foreclosure sales also declined, falling from 78,734 in January to 69,114 in February, but with the diminishing HAMP modifications, foreclosure sales are expected to exceed the total number of loan modifications for the second consecutive month.

Mortgage delinquencies that were at least 60 days past due declined from 2.768 million loans in January to 2.757 million in February.

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