The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has been busy. After a recent Mel Watt speech as well as a plan for the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government agency released its Foreclosure Prevention Report for February 2014. The report contains data regarding the foreclosure prevention activity of the GSEs as of the end of February.
In February alone, approximately 28,400 foreclosure prevention actions were completed. Year-to-date, the two companies have completed roughly 58,000 foreclosure prevention activities. The total actions recorded by the two companies are up to nearly 3.2 million since the start of the government's conservatorship in September 2008.
Half of these actions have been permanent modifications—17,400 in February alone. However, modifications are slowly dwindling and are down 7 percent, month-over-month. Approximately 28 percent of all permanent loan modification in February included principal forbearance.
Active permanent modifications for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac total 431,000.
Short sales and deeds-in-lieu totaled 4,500 for the GSEs in February, down 19 percent from January. In total, foreclosure and third-party sales saw a 22 percent decline for the month. Foreclosure starts dropped 33 percent to 21,900.
Credit scores continued to provide an interesting metric by which to judge delinquency rates.
Borrowers with a credit score less than 660 experienced a decline in the percentage of loans 60-days or more delinquent, dropping from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent, month-over-month. Borrowers with scores greater than or equal to 660 saw a slight decline, from 2.8 percent to 2.7 percent delinquent.
The serious delinquency rate dropped to 2.28 percent at the end of February, from 2.33 percent in January.