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Tallying Foreclosure Prevention Actions

The GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, completed nearly 20,000 foreclosure prevention actions in February 2018, according to the latest Foreclosure Prevention Report issued by the FHFA.

The exact total of foreclosure prevention actions for February 2018 came to 19,932. Since the beginning of the conservatorships in September 2008, the GSEs have completed a total of 4,084,139 foreclosure prevention actions, with more than half of those being loan modifications.

For February 2018, the GSEs completed 10,606 permanent loan modifications, bringing the total under the conservatorships to 2,173,383. Forty-six percent of February’s loan modifications involved principal forbearance. Forty-two percent of February’s modifications involved modifications with extend term only.

According to the report, there were 794 short sales and deeds‐in‐lieu of foreclosure completed in February. That’s down 23 percent compared to January 2018’s 1,026 total.

The serious delinquency rate at the end of February was 1.16 percent, down slightly from January’s 1.17 percent. As of February, 397,076 loans were reported 30-59 days delinquent, up compared to the January total of 370,705. Sixty-plus-days delinquent loans totaled 432,418, down slightly from January’s 443,103.

Black Knight recently reported that the national delinquency rate for March 2018 was 3.73 percent, with the highest delinquency rates recorded in Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, and West Virginia. North Dakota, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado boasted the lowest delinquency rates.

Third‐party and foreclosure sales also decreased in February, dropping from 5,000 in January to 4,311 in February. Foreclosure starts slid from 16,003 in January to 15,246 in February.

For comparison’s sake, Black Knight’s March 2018 data found foreclosure starts up 12 percent over the month with 70 percent of the increase concentrated in areas impacted by hurricanes. Active foreclosures were down in hurricane-impacted markets, with a 7 percent decline in Texas and a 23 percent decline in Florida over the year in March. The market impact of the hurricanes has been “relatively muted as a result of ongoing forbearance programs,” according to Black Knight, and “it will be a number of months before the true foreclosure impact from these storms is revealed.”

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misattributed the report to the FHA, rather than the FHFA. We apologize for this error.

About Author: David Wharton

David Wharton, Editor-in-Chief at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has nearly 20 years' experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. He can be reached at [email protected].

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