The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reported findings from a survey of first-lien mortgage performance for the fourth quarter of 2013. The OCC found 91.8 percent of mortgages were currently performing, up point-4 percent from the previous quarter. Mortgages in the early stages of delinquency were 2.6 percent, falling 8.7 percent from the previous year. Seriously delinquent mortgages decreased over the year from 4.4 percent to 3.5 percent, a 20.7 percent drop.
Loans in the process of foreclosure decreased by 45.9 percent, according to the OCC. New foreclosures during the fourth quarter of 2013 were approximately 124,000, a 20.6 percent decrease from a year earlier. The OCC credited the reduction in foreclosure activity to improved economic conditions, foreclosure prevention assistance, and transfer of loans. The OCC found that home retention actions were largely successful, with servicers implementing approximately 242,000 actions in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to the roughly 84,000 home forfeiture actions.
Fitch Ratings reported that in 2013, many portfolios of non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities mortgage servicing rights had moved away from traditional banks to non-bank servicers. Non-banks currently service nearly three quarters of non-agency deals, with large non-bank servicers like Ocwen and Nationstar growing their total servicing portfolios by 250 percent and 100 percent, respectively, over the past 12 months. Fitch believes that new government oversight will yield higher fixed costs, thus encouraging non-bank servicers to grow their portfolios, causing further scrutiny from government agencies.