HOPE NOW has released its March 2012 loan modification data, which shows that an estimated 207,000 homeowners received permanent loan modifications from mortgage servicers for the first quarter of this year. This is a 31% decline compared to the same time period in 2011.
The March data shows that approximately 147,000 homeowners received proprietary loan modifications and another 60,225 homeowners had loan modifications completed under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) during the first quarter of the year.
Of the proprietary modifications completed in the first quarter, HOPE NOW reports that approximately 77% (113,000) included reduced monthly principal and interest payments and 90% (132,000) had fixed interest rates of five or more years. Additionally, proprietary loan modifications that reduced principal and interest payments by more than 10% represented 72% (105,000) of the quarterly total.
HOPE NOW's data also shows a 7% drop in serious delinquencies (60 days or more past due) from the same period in 2011. Since 2007, the mortgage industry has completed 5.42 million total permanent loan modifications for homeowners.
‘We continue to be encouraged by the efforts of mortgage servicers, nonprofit counselors and others to educate homeowners on their options and find viable solutions for home retention, or graceful exit in some cases,’ says Faith Schwartz, executive director of HOPE NOW. ‘In cases where home retention is not an alternative, the focus shifts to community stabilization through improving the short sale process and deed-in-lieu process, focusing on issues associated with vacant homes and enhancing public/private partnerships to support the housing market.’