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The GSEs’ Homeowner Assistance Efforts

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 13,984 foreclosure prevention actions and 7,650 permanent loan modifications in February, according to the latest Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Foreclosure Prevention Report. The FHFA notes that this brings the total to 4,311,409 since the start of the conservatorships in September 2008, and over half of the prevention actions have been permanent loan modifications.

Twenty-nine percent of modifications in February were modifications with principal forbearance, compared to 31% in January. Modifications with extend-term only accounted for 66 percent of all loan modifications during February. Short sales and deeds-in-lieu fell month over month as well, down by 19% to 463. Short sales fell to 374 in January from 582 in December, and fell further in February to 308. Deeds-in-lieu went from 207 to 200 in January 2019, and down to 155 in February. The GSEs completed a total of 463 home forfeiture actions in February. 

The Agency’s report notes that the serious delinquency rate decreased slightly from 0.74 percent at the end of January to 0.73 percent at the end of February, and third-party foreclosure sales decreased from 4,070 in January to 3,227 in February. The 60-plus-days delinquency rate remained steady month over month at 1.07%, while the 30-59 days delinquent rate jumped from 1.21% to 1.35% in that time frame. Enterprise foreclosure starts decreased from 12,121 in January to 10,116 in February. 

Earlier this year, Black Knight released a report detailing how the decline of mortgage rates hasn't impacted the mortgage prepayment rate.

The report states that even though foreclosure starts indicated an increase, they remained down 19.4% on a year-over-year basis. The number of loans in active foreclosure also continued to decline, falling to 265,000, down by 72,000 from last year. According to the report, this foreclosure inventory is also "the smallest it's been since May 2006."

Properties that are 30 days past due fell to around 1.9 million, declining by 257,000 year-over-year. Properties that were 90 days past due also fell 203,000 year-over-year to 504,000, the Black Knight report indicated.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a contributing writer for DS News. He is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing, and has studied abroad in Athens, Greece. An East Texas native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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