About 40,000 homeowners received permanent, affordable loan modifications from mortgage servicers during August, an increase of about 12% compared to the 35,000 modifications processed in July, according to HOPE NOW.
This total includes about 30,000 modifications completed under proprietary programs and 9,648 modifications completed through the government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
Workouts continue to far outpace foreclosure sales. For the month of August, about 163,000 workouts – including loan modifications, short sales, deeds in lieu and workout plans – were completed compared to approximately 34,000 foreclosure sales.
Since the beginning of 2014, workouts have outpaced foreclosure sales 1.28 million to 314,000, or approximately four workouts for every foreclosure sale.
There were about 34,000 completed foreclosure sales in August, down 11% from about 38,000 in July to reach the lowest monthly total reported since HOPE NOW began collecting data in 2007. This number of monthly foreclosure sales has been relatively consistent for most of 2014. By comparison, there were about 58,000 foreclosure sales in August 2013.
Foreclosure starts also declined in August, with about 65,000 reported compared to about 70,000 in July.
Delinquencies (60-plus days or more overdue) were reported on about 1.89 million loans in August, an increase of about 1.6% compared to July. It was the sixth straight month that delinquencies held under 2 million.
There were about 9,300 short sales completed in August, a decrease of about 16% compared to the approximately 11,000 recorded in July.
There were about 2,400 deeds-in-lieu completed in August, a decrease of 7% compared to the 2,500 recorded in July.
‘Efforts to offer homeowners the most sustainable mortgage solutions continue to be a top priority for HOPE NOW's industry members,’ says Eric Selk, executive director of HOPE NOW, in a release. ‘Those at risk of foreclosure now have more options than ever before for home retention or graceful exit. Our members have worked hard to ensure that homeowners are well versed on these options and can complete the necessary course of action in a timely manner. Each month we see the positive results of these efforts. As completed foreclosure sales continue decrease, it is interesting to note that many new tools have been implemented by servicers and counselors in assisting families. We expect this trend to continue through 2014.
‘Beyond borrower outreach, HOPE NOW is also committed to working with local leaders to find solutions to community related housing issues, such as blight and abandoned properties,’ Selk adds. ‘Even though the housing market is recovering as a whole, there are still several regions of the country where it continues to struggle. Our goal is to identify these areas, along with our partners and members, convene all local stakeholders and assist in formulating longterm initiatives that lead to community stability.
‘For example, HOPE NOW is working actively with community leaders in Detroit to help manage the challenges associated by the city's blighted properties and vacant lots,’ he continues. ‘Additionally, we are holding a special homeowner event there on Nov. 13, built around specific mortgage products available for Detroit residents.’