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State of the Foreclosure Market

Servicers of some of the largest banks in the U.S. initiated 28,508 new foreclosures during the third quarter of 2018, according to the Office of the Comptroller of Currency's (OCC's) Mortgage Metrics report. This marked a 3.7 percent quarter-over-quarter decrease and a 16.8 percent decline from a year ago.

Home forfeiture actions during the quarter that included completed foreclosure sales, short sales, and deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure action, decreased 30.4 percent from last year to 15,506.

The report is based on data collected on first-lien residential mortgage loans serviced by seven national banks with large mortgage servicing portfolios. They include Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo. The report excludes mortgage loans like junior liens, home equity lines of credit (HELOC), and reverse mortgages.

Looking at loan modifications in Q3, the report indicated that servicers completed 25,701 modifications, a decrease of 21.3 percent over the last quarter. Of these, 21,766 were combination modifications that included "multiple actions affecting affordability and sustainability of the loan, such as an interest rate reduction and a term extension."

Among the 21,766 completed combination modifications, the report said, 96.6 percent included capitalization of delinquent interest and fees, 43.4 percent included an interest rate reduction or freeze, 96 percent included a term extension, 1.2 percent a principal reduction, and 13.5 percent included principal deferral.

The report also said that of the 23,427 modifications that were completed during the first quarter of 2018, "servicers reported 3,580, or 15.3 percent, were 60 or more days past due or in the process of foreclosure at the end of the month that they became six months old."

The report also looked at the overall mortgage portfolio and performance of the loans. It revealed that as of September 30, 2018, the reporting banks had serviced 17.2 million first-lien mortgage loans with $3.26 trillion in unpaid principal balances indicating 32 percent of all residential mortgage debt outstanding in the U.S.

The OCC said that banks reported an improvement in the overall mortgage performance in Q3 compared to the same period a year ago with 95.4 percent mortgages current and performing compared with 94.8 percent a year ago.

Click here to read the full report.

About Author: Radhika Ojha

Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas.
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