HOPE NOW reports that the mortgage lending industry completed a record-high 239,000 foreclosure prevention workouts in December 2008. This is the first time since HOPE NOW began to compile data in July 2007 that the number of workouts exceeded 200,000 in four consecutive months and is the latest indication that the mortgage lending industry is continuing to increase its foreclosure prevention efforts.
The new monthly record number of workouts exceeds the previous high set in October 2008 by more than 5%. The 671,000 workouts completed in the last quarter of 2008 were the most in any three-month period since July 2007.
The December 2008 results also show that the mortgage lending industry is continuing to shift its efforts to help homeowners from repayment plans to loan modifications. For the first time since July 2007, the number of loan modifications was more than half of all workouts completed in a single month. The 122,000 modifications completed in December 2008 are 19% higher than the previous record set in October 2008.
HOPE NOW defines workouts in its data as both modifications to the terms of existing mortgages and repayment plans.
The HOPE NOW December data also show that 37% of homeowners with prime loans who received workouts in December received modifications, and 85% of homeowners with subprime loans who received workouts in December received modifications. The number of foreclosures started in December increased by 34,000 over the previous month. More than 75% of this increase was in prime loans.
SOURCE: HOPE NOW