The total number of homeowners receiving permanent loan modifications declined in July, as did the number of modifications made under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), according to figures released this week by HOPE NOW.
Including both HAMP and proprietary programs, permanent completed modifications totaled 35,402 in July, according to HOPE NOW, down from 38,489 the month prior.
The decline reflected a drop in both the number of proprietary mods, which totaled nearly 25,000 compared to June's more than 27,000, and in the number of HAMP mods, which fell to 10,177 from 10,813 in June.
Since 2007, HOPE NOW estimates nearly more than 7.1 million homeowners have been granted a loan modification, including 1.4 million made through HAMP (dating back to 2009).
Factoring in short sales, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, and other workout plans, the group reports that servicers worked with homeowners to come up with nearly 157,000 solutions to avoid foreclosure.
Meanwhile, foreclosure starts rose a little more than 1,000 from June to settle at 70,401, the highest level of starts since January. Through the first seven months of 2014, foreclosure starts totaled nearly half a million; for all of 2013, starts came to an estimated 1.2 million.
Meanwhile, completed foreclosure sales rose to 38,428 compared to 36,826 in June.
Extrapolating from data provided by the Mortgage Bankers Association (covering approximately 88 percent of the industry), HOPE NOW estimates the number of loans with delinquencies of 60 days or more came to nearly 1.86 million, down from 1.88 million in June. The percentage of total loans overdue by 60 or more days stayed constant for the 11th straight month at 4 percent.