Mortgage servicers have completed 1.4 million permanent loan modifications so far this year, according to the latest estimates from ""HOPE NOW"":http://www.hopenow.com, the private sector alliance of servicers, investors, mortgage insurers, and nonprofit housing counselors.[IMAGE]
Data released by the organization Monday shows that the industry completed close to 150,000 permanent loan modifications during the month of September alone Ã¢â‚¬" 120,000 of which were through servicers own proprietary programs and 27,840 under the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
HOPE NOW is currently reporting additional metrics on the types of proprietary modifications being offered to distressed homeowners in order to better assess sustainability.
Since June 2010, the organization estimates that loan modifications providing homeowners with reduced principal and interest payments of 10 percent or more have accounted for 53 percent of the industry's proprietary loan mods.[COLUMN_BREAK]
Additionally, it is estimated that loan modifications with a fixed rate period of five or more years account for 80 percent of all proprietary modifications done this year by mortgage servicers.
Faith Schwartz, senior adviser for HOPE NOW, commented, ""The most important take away from HOPE NOW's September data is that we now have good metrics on the sustainability of proprietary loan modifications being done by our servicer members.""
Schwartz added, ""While HAMP has provided a road map for other solutions, and is still the first line of defense for a delinquent homeowner, if the borrower is not eligible for a HAMP modification, a proprietary modification is able to fill the gap and offer a viable and sustainable solution to avoid foreclosure.""
HOPE NOW says servicers have been granting permanent loan modifications to struggling borrowers at a steady pace of about 150,000 per month. But many consumer advocacy groups, and even federal watchdog agencies such as the Congressional Oversight Panel, say their efforts are unfortunately overshadowed by the sheer volume of delinquencies.
According to HOPE NOW's latest assessment, there are still over three million homeowners at least two months behind on their mortgage payments.
That number, though, has been faintly shrinking for several months. September's 60-plus-day delinquencies were an estimated 3.255 million; in August the figure was 3.256 million; and in July it was 3.298 million.
HOPE NOW reports that foreclosure starts increased slightly in September to 250,000, up from 245,000 the month before.
Completed foreclosure sales also rose, from 102,000 in August to 120,000 in September.