About 42,000 loan modifications were completed in April – a decrease of about 7% compared to March – as the national rate of delinquency and foreclosure continued to fall, according to HOPE NOW, a voluntary, private-sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and nonprofit counselors.
That brought the total number of loan modifications processed since 2007 to more than 7 million, according to the group.
Of the approximately 42,000 modifications completed in April, about 30,000 were through proprietary programs, and 11,813 were completed via the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
Of the 7 million modifications processed since 2007, about 5.65 million were through proprietary programs while 1.36 million were through HAMP (note: HAMP reporting began in 2009).
In addition to completed foreclosures, the number of foreclosure starts dropped in April as well. According to the report, about 65,000 foreclosure starts were initiated for the month, compared to 70,000 in March – a decrease of 8%.
Completed foreclosure sales remained relatively flat, with 40,000 reported in April compared to 39,000 reported in March.
Serious delinquencies – loans that are 60 days or more past due – held steady at approximately 1.93 million. April was the second month in a row that serious delinquencies remained under 2 million.
For comparison purposes, there were 4.13 million homeowners in 60-plus-day delinquency in December 2009 – more than double the April number. HOPE NOW used delinquency data provided by the Mortgage Bankers Association for the first quarter of this year to arrive at its findings.
Foreclosure alternatives, such as short sales and deeds-in-lieu, actually increased in April, despite the declining foreclosure rate. This is due in part to the judicial states' efforts in clearing out a backlog of foreclosures. In April, about 12,000 short sales were completed, up about 11% from 11,000 in March. In addition, approximately 2,800 deeds-in-lieu were completed in April – also an 11% increase over the 2,500 processed in March.
In a release, Eric Selk, executive director for HOPE NOW, says the group is ‘happy to report that mortgage servicers have offered at-risk homeowners over 7 million loan modifications since we started reporting mortgage solution data.’
‘This milestone was achieved through a highly collaborative effort of the industry and its nonprofit, government and local partners,’ Selk says. ‘Our members and partners have worked hard to educate homeowners on their options and offer them viable and sustainable solutions. We remain focused on face-to-face borrower outreach, with an event scheduled for Cleveland next week, as well as Riverside and Sacramento in July.’