In a press release issued Wednesday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the FHFA reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have completed 3.1 million foreclosure prevention actions since the two companies came under the government’s conservatorship in 2008. Foreclosure prevention actions include actions like loan modifications, refinances, and principal reductions.
The actions by the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) have helped more than 2.5 million borrowers stay in their homes, including nearly 1.6 million homeowners who have received permanent loan modifications.
During 2013, Fannie and Freddie completed nearly 448,000 foreclosure prevention actions, 99,700 in the fourth quarter alone. The agency noted, "The majority of these allowed troubled borrowers to save their homes."
The FHFA report found that serious delinquencies dropped 7 percent during the fourth quarter of 2013 to the lowest level since the first quarter of 2009. The seriously delinquent rate fell to 2.4 percent.
The rate for loans 30-59 days delinquent was 1.7 percent, a slight increase from the previous quarter. Loans delinquent for 60-plus days dropped .1 percent to 2.9 percent from the previous quarter.
"Nearly half of all permanent loan modifications in the fourth quarter helped to reduce homeowners' monthly payments by over 30 percent," according to the FHFA.
In the fourth quarter, approximately 31 percent of homeowners who received permanent loan modifications had portions of their mortgage balance forgiven.
Since the beginning of the conservatorship, completed short sales and deeds-in-lieu totaled 552,000. The fourth quarter of 2013 saw more than 20,000 completed short sales and deeds-in-lieu.
Foreclosure sales continued a downward trend, posting a 15 percent reduction in the fourth quarter, with foreclosure starts receding 3 percent.