There were about 44,457 permanent loan modifications granted to borrowers during April – up about 3% from 43,084 in March and up from 37,520 in February, according to data from HOPE NOW, a voluntary, private-sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and nonprofit counselors.
Of those, about 29,032 were proprietary modifications, while 15,425 were through the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program.
For the month of April, total non-foreclosure solutions (the combination of total loan modifications, short sales, deeds-in-lieu and workout plans) were approximately 153,000. This compares to approximately 32,000 foreclosure sales for the month. As such, non-foreclosure solutions are now outpacing foreclosure sales by a pace of five to one (previously four to one through the first half of this year).
The total number of non-foreclosure solutions since 2007 is approaching 24 million and the number of permanent loan modifications is 7.5 million, the organization says.
There were about 8,300 short sales completed in April, about the same number completed in March, according to HOPE NOW.
There were about 2,000 deed-in-lieu transactions, an increase of about 5% compared to approximately 1,900 in March.
There were about 59,000 foreclosure starts, a decrease of about 24% compared to about 78,000 in March.
There were about 32,000 foreclosure sales, an increase of about 1% compared to 31,000 in March.
About 1.78 million loans were seriously delinquent, a decrease of about 2% compared to about 1.81 million in March.
‘HOPE NOW continues to see declines in overall serious delinquencies each month,’ says Eric Selk, executive director of HOPE NOW, in a statement. ‘In 2010, at the peak of the housing crisis, there were more than four million families behind on their mortgages.
That number has been more than cut in half as the industry continues to provide viable mortgage solutions. Loan mods are outpacing foreclosure sales and total non-foreclosure solutions are outpacing those sales by a five to one margin.
‘As many markets continue to recover, HOPE NOW's members and partners are focused on the regions that are still plagued by large numbers of delinquent borrowers,’ Selk says. ‘We have also shifted our efforts to assisting communities with post-crisis issues, such as abandoned properties and blight. Our face-to-face outreach efforts have already helped borrowers in Oakland, San Bernardino, Chicago and St. Louis so far this year – with close to 1,000 in attendance. Future events are being planned for Cleveland, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Fort Lauderdale and New York for the balance of the year.
Selk adds that HOPE NOW is also hosting housing roundtables in all of these cities in order to bring together all stakeholders in the local housing market to formulate sustainable long-term solutions.
Over the past several months, he says, interactions with borrowers have become longer ‘as lenders and counselors help them navigate through the multitude of options available.’
‘Our team tracks servicer data at events, and we have found some interesting numbers through the first four events of 2015,’ Selk says. ‘For example, 36 percent of attendees are first-time loan mod applicants, and 63 percent are reviewed on-site for a home retention option. However, we have found that less than 30 percent of attendees have all of the necessary documentation with them on-site. This is where the nonprofit housing counselors play a critical role at our events and why we partner with these organizations. It cannot be stressed enough that homeowners have all documents needed for decisions – whether it is in an event setting or via the phone.’