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FHFA Releases Foreclosure-Prevention Report

The government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) completed 166,942 foreclosure prevention actions in August, according to new data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac performed 3,599 permanent loan modifications in August, with 23% of these transactions being modifications with principal forbearance. Modifications with extend-term accounted for 61% of all loan modifications during the month.

The FHFA also reported that the number of borrowers who received payment deferrals after completing a COVID-19 related forbearance plan dropped from 108,492 in July to 60,364 in August. Initiated forbearance plans slid from 88,989 in July to 77,546 in August, a 13% decline, while the total number of loans in forbearance plans decreased from 1,263,980 at the end of July to 1,147,033 at the end of August, representing approximately 4% of the total loans serviced and 82.1% of the total delinquent loans. There were 308 short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure completed in August, a 4% decline from July.

The GSE’s 30-59 days delinquency rate dropped to 1.11%, although the serious delinquency rate rose from 3.19% in July to 3.26% in August. The FHFA attributed this spike to the COVID-19 pandemic and the forbearance programs being offered to affected borrowers. Furthermore, the FHFA reported that third-party and foreclosure sales took a 14% decline in August 542 and were down 4% during the month to 1,935.

On the refinance side, the GSEs’ total refinance volume increased in August to record levels as mortgage rates fell in previous months due to historically low mortgage rates. During August, the GSEs completed 15 refinances through the High LTV Refinance Option, bringing total refinances since the inception of the program to 98. The percentage of cash-out refinances dipped from 25% in July to 24% in August.

Separately, the FHFA announced the GSEs would extend several loan origination flexibilities slated to end on Nov. 30 until Dec. 31. The agency cited the need to “ensure continued support for borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency.”

About Author: Phil Hall

Phil Hall is a former United Nations-based reporter for Fairchild Broadcast News, the author of nine books, the host of the award-winning SoundCloud podcast "The Online Movie Show," co-host of the award-winning WAPJ-FM talk show "Nutmeg Chatter" and a writer with credits in The New York Times, New York Daily News, Hartford Courant, Wired, The Hill's Congress Blog and Profit Confidential. His real estate finance writing has been published in the ABA Banking Journal, Secondary Marketing Executive, Servicing Management, MortgageOrb, Progress in Lending, National Mortgage Professional, Mortgage Professional America, Canadian Mortgage Professional, Mortgage Professional News, Mortgage Broker News and HousingWire.

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