Mortgage servicers offered approximately 420,000 permanent loan modifications in 2015 – a decrease of 14% compared with about 489,000 in 2014, according to figures released by HOPE NOW, a voluntary, private-sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and nonprofit counselors.
Of these, about 302,000 were proprietary and 117,267 were completed under the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
Since 2007, mortgage servicers have completed more than 7.75 million permanent loan modifications, approximately 6.2 million of which were completed through proprietary programs, while 1,565,723 were through HAMP.
Foreclosure starts and completed foreclosure sales both decreased significantly in 2015 compared with 2014. There were approximately 705,000 foreclosure starts compared with 842,000 in 2014 – a decrease of 16%. There were approximately 342,000 foreclosure sales compared with 455,000 in 2014 – a decrease of 25%.
Looking at the delinquency rate, as of December there were approximately 1.6 million loans that were 60 days or more past due – a decrease of almost 16% compared with 1.9 million in December 2014.
Approximately 86,000 short sales were completed in 2015. Deeds in lieu for the year totaled almost 20,000, according to HOPE NOW’s tally.
Looking just at the fourth quarter, servicers offered about 85,000 loan modifications, a decrease of 13% compared with 98,000 in the third quarter.
There were about 156,000 foreclosure starts in the fourth quarter, a decrease of 2% compared with 159,000 in the third quarter.
There were about 77,000 foreclosure sales in the fourth quarter, a decrease of 4% compared with about 80,000 in the third quarter.
Looking at December only, there were about 29,000 loan modifications, an increase of 12% compared with about 26,000 in November.
There were about 24,500 foreclosure sales in December, an increase of 2% compared with about 24,000 in November.
There were about 54,000 foreclosure starts in December, a increase of 17% compared with 46,000 in November.
Serious delinquencies in December were unchanged compared with November and stood at about 1.62 million.
“The 2015 data report affirms the recent trends in housing market recovery,” says Eric Selk, executive director for HOPE NOW, in a statement. “Delinquency and foreclosure data continues to decrease and approach pre-crisis norms. Although permanent loan modifications were at a peak of 160,000 in June 2010, they remain around 30,000 a month and nearly 420,000 homeowners received a modification in 2015.
“The industry continues to provide homeowners with an array of solutions before a foreclosure is completed,” Selk adds. “This is reflected in the data as foreclosure starts and sales declined 16 percent and 25 percent respectively from 2014 to 2015. Just six years ago, we were at the apex of the foreclosure crisis with over 4.1 million homeowners in serious delinquency and today, we are at 1.6 million. This is a true testament to the recovery and all the hard work that HOPE NOW members have maintained to assist those in need.”