About 40,000 homeowners nationwide received permanent mortgage loan modifications from servicers in August, which includes loans completed through proprietary programs and under the government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), according to data released by the HOPE NOW Alliance on Thursday.
The number of total mortgage solutions, which include loan modifications, short sales, and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, outnumbered foreclosure sales by a five to one ratio, according to HOPE NOW. Mortgage solutions totaled 163,000 for the month of August, compared to 34,000 foreclosure sales. Year-to-date, the ratio of mortgage solutions to foreclosure sales is four to one (1.28 million to 314,000).
"Efforts to offer homeowners the most sustainable mortgage solutions continue to be a top priority for HOPE NOW’s industry members," said Eric Selk, executive director of HOPE NOW. "Those at risk of foreclosure now have more options than ever before for home retention or graceful exit. Our members have worked hard to ensure that homeowners are well versed on these options and can complete the necessary course of action in a timely manner. Each month we see the positive results of these efforts. As completed foreclosure sales continue decrease, it is interesting to note that many new tools have been implemented by servicers and counselors in assisting families. We expect this trend to continue through 2014."
The 34,000 foreclosure sales for August is the lowest reported total for any month since HOPE NOW began tracking foreclosure data in 2007. The August number of foreclosure sales was a decline of 11 percent from July, when 38,000 foreclosure sales were completed, and a decline of 41 percent from August 2013, when 58,000 foreclosure sales were reported. Foreclosure starts also declined from 70,000 in July to 65,000 in August.
August was the sixth straight month that delinquencies of 60 days or more were reported at less than two million, totaling 1.89 million for the month, according to HOPE NOW which extrapolates delinquency data from data received by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) for Q2 2014. The August delinquency total marked an increase of 1.6 percent from July.
The 40,000 loan modifications completed in August marked an increase of 12 percent from the 35,000 mods completed in July. Of the August loan modifications, about 30,000 of them were completed through proprietary programs while approximately 9,600 of them were completed through HAMP.
Short sales and deeds-in-lieu saw month-over-month declines, according to HOPE NOW. August short sales totaled 9,300, a decrease of 16 percent from July when 11,000 short sales were completed. The number of deeds-in-lieu fell by 7 percent month-over-month, with 2,400 reported in August compared to 2,500 in July.