Servicers Modify 210K Loans Through Own Programs in Q1: Report

An estimated 210,000 homeowners received permanent, proprietary loan modifications from mortgage servicers during the first quarter of 2011, according to data released by HOPE NOW on Monday.

That’s down nearly 20 percent from the 261,500 private-program mods reported during the fourth quarter of 2010, and 40 percent fewer than the 347,000 completed in the third quarter of 2010.

The proprietary mod tally does not include loan modifications through the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

While the quarterly totals indicate a significant slide in modification activity, servicers reported an uptick during the month of March, when approximately 77,000 proprietary mods were completed. That’s up 26 percent from the 61,000 tracked in February.

“We were pleased to see the increase in proprietary loan modifications from the previous month, despite the challenges facing the industry,” said Faith Schwartz, HOPE NOW’s executive director. “This reversed a downward trend in proprietary modifications seen in the previous few months.”

HOPE NOW’s data also show an increase in foreclosure activity in March.
Foreclosure starts for the month were 217,000, up from the 180,000 reported for February 2011 – an increase of 21 percent.

Completed foreclosure sales in March totaled approximately 85,000, up from the 62,000 from the month before representing an increase of 35 percent.

According to HOPE NOW’s report, 60-plus day delinquencies at the end of March tallied 2.63 million, down 6 percent from the 2.78 million reported in February.

Schwartz commented, “While it’s encouraging to see a continued decline in 60 day delinquency we realize many homeowners continue to be at risk of foreclosure, as evidenced by the increase in foreclosure sales in March.”

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