Mortgage servicers offered approximately 154,000 non-foreclosure solutions for struggling homeowners in March, according to data from HOPE NOW, a voluntary, private-sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and nonprofit counselors.
Of those solutions, servicers offered an estimated 43,000 permanent loan modifications – an increase of 15% compared to the approximately 38,000 offered in February.
Of those 43,000 permanent loan modifications, approximately 35,000 were proprietary while 8,262 were completed under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
Of the proprietary loan modifications completed in March, approximately
69%, or 24,000, had reduced monthly principal and interest payments of more than 10%.
HOPE NOW's data shows that there were about 31,000 foreclosure sales in March – an increase of 11% compared to about 28,000 in February.
There were about 78,000 foreclosure starts in March – an increase of about 17% compared to about 66,000 in February.
In addition, there were about 8,300 short sales in March – an increase of 11% compared to about 7,500 in February.
In addition, the organization released a full set of data for the first quarter showing that approximately 444,000 homeowners received non-foreclosure solutions from mortgage servicers in January, February and March.
Permanent loan modifications totaled approximately 116,000 and short sales totaled 24,000. Other solutions – including repayment plans, deeds in lieu, other retention plans and liquidation plans – made up the rest of the total number.
Of the 116,000 loan modifications completed for the first quarter, about
87,000 homeowners received proprietary loan modifications while 29,101 received modifications through HAMP. Month over month, proprietary loan modifications showed a consistent trend in the first quarter.
‘Activity on mortgage solutions remained robust during the first quarter of the
year,’ says Eric Selk, executive director for HOPE NOW, in a statement. ‘Permanent loan mods continue to slightly outpace foreclosure sales and total non-foreclosure solutions remain at a steady pace.’
‘The industry has many tools at its disposal in offering customers the best possible outcome,’ Selk adds. ‘HOPE NOW's data has shown a consistent trend in the relationship between options offered and foreclosure sales. The good news in this trend is that these efforts point to a correcting market across the board. HOPE NOW's members have made a special effort to engage borrowers in communities that still lag behind in their housing and economic recovery.’
Selk points out that HOPE NOW has held community and borrower events in Oakland and San Bernardino, Calif., so far this year, ‘with considerable support from the local leaders and nonprofits.’ More events are scheduled for the remainder of the year.
For more information, including additonal data for the first quarter, click here.