HOPE NOW Reports March Results

osure starts in March reached approximately 290,000, which, HOPE NOW reports, represents the highest number of foreclosure actions initiated in a month since the alliance began tracking data in 2007. The bump in foreclosure starts also represents a 20% increase over February's total of about 243,000. Completed foreclosure sales, however, declined 37% in March to 52,822 – the lowest number since December 2007. The group's chief statistician, Michael Bright, says the reduction in completed foreclosure sales may have been because servicers allowed troubled loans to be run through the Homeowner Affordability and Stability plan. "It's too early to say this is a trend," Bright comments. "But anecdotal reports from servicers do indicate that they are taking this extra step to help homeowners who qualify stay in their homes." The servicing industry performed 133,910 modifications and 114,994 repayment plans in March, for a total of 248,904 workouts, HOPE NOW says. The numbers are similar to February's, which included 110,638 repayment plans and 133,836 modifications. Repayment plans for prime mortgages jumped by almost 10,000 loans from February to March. HOPE NOW Director Faith Schwartz says the industry is "steadily working out solutions for homeowners and keeping as many as possible in their home" and that she expects the numbers to increase as servicers implement the administration's foreclosure prevention initiatives. SOURCE: H


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