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Mortgage servicers processed about 42,000 loan modifications in February - a 5% decrease compared to the 44,000 processed in January, according to HOPE NOW, a voluntary, private-sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and nonprofit counselors.

Of these, about 30,000 were proprietary loan modifications while an additional 12,445 were made through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

As of February, about 6.93 million loan mods had been completed since HOPE NOW began tracking the data in 2007.

HOPE NOW’s data also shows that foreclosure starts and sales declined in February compared to January. Foreclosure sales declined significantly, with approximately 36,000 sales completed in February, compared to 48,000 in January - a decrease of 24%. In addition there were about 69,000 foreclosure starts in the month of February, compared to 75,000 in January - a decrease of 8%. February’s totals brought foreclosure sales and starts to the lowest totals on record since 2007.

In addition, serious delinquencies (60 days or more past due) remained under 2 million for the second straight month, at approximately 1.98 million. This is down astronomically compared to December 2009, when 4.13 million homeowners were seriously delinquent.

There were about 11,000 short sales in February, down about 8% compared to the approximately 12,000 recorded in January.

About 2,300 deed-in-lieu sales were completed in February, compared to 2,500 in January - a decrease of 8%.

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