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OCC Report Shows Improvement in First-Lien Mortgages for Q3

OCC Report Mortgage Loan PerformanceThe OCC Mortgage Metrics Report, Third Quarter 2014, released Friday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), showed improvement in the performance of first-lien mortgages serviced by seven national banks and one federal savings association.

The report found that out of a portfolio totaling 23.6 million loans with a combined unpaid principal balance of about $4.0 billion (about 46 percent of residential mortgages in the U.S.), the percentage of current and performing mortgages increased both quarter-over-quarter (from 92.9 percent to 93.0 percent) and year-over-year (from 91.4 percent to 93.0 percent) in Q3.

Mortgages that were 30 to 59 days delinquent made up 2.4 percent of the portfolio, which was an increase of 1.9 percent from Q2 to Q3 but a decline of 8 percent from the same quarter in 2013. The percentage of seriously delinquent mortgages, which are defined by OCC as 60 or more days past due or held up by bankrupt borrowers whose payments are 30 days or more past due, declined by 0.9 percent quarter-over-quarter and 14.5 percent year-over-year in Q3 2014.

Delinquent mortgages were not the only category that saw a decline in the report, however. The overall number of homes in the process of foreclosure took a big tumble year-over-year of 41.5 percent in Q3, down to 353,906. This number represented 1.5 percent of all mortgages. Foreclosures initiated by servicers during the quarter also experienced a significant year-over-year decline of 36.7 percent in Q3, down to 82,668. Completed foreclosures performed likewise, falling 45.4 percent year-over-year in Q3 down to 45,245. OCC attributed the large decline in foreclosure activity to improved economic conditions and foreclosure prevention assistance.

Another positive sign for the housing market in the OCC's report was the number of home retention actions implemented by servicers in Q3, which outpaced the number of forfeiture actions by nearly a four to one ratio. Home retention actions, which include modifications, trial-period plans, and shorter-term payment plans, totaled 205,689 for Q3, compared with 58,214 home forfeiture actions, which include completed foreclosures, short sales, and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosures. The disparity between home retention actions and home forfeiture actions was still nearly four to one despite a 1.2 percent decline quarter-over-quarter and a 34.3 percent decline year-over-year in Q3.

More than 90 percent of modifications in Q3 reduced monthly principal and interest payments, and 55.1 percent of modifications resulted in a reduced payment of 20 percent or more. Modifications made under the government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) reduced homeowners' payments by an average of $284 per month.

Out of the nearly 3.6 million modifications implemented during the six-and-a-half year period between January 1, 2008, and June 30, 2014, about 57 percent of them were still active as of the end of Q3 2014, while nearly 43 percent of them had exited reporting institutions' portfolios through either payment in full, involuntary liquidation (foreclosure, short sale, or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure), or transferring their loans to a non-reporting servicer.

Of the approximately 2.04 million modifications that were active as of the end of Q3 2014, nearly 69 percent were current and performing, according to OCC's report. About 25.6 percent of those modifications were delinquent and about 5.7 percent were in foreclosure.

About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.

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