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Foreclosure Completions, Starts on GSE Loans Continue Steady Decline

Foreclosure Starts Completions FHFABoth foreclosure completions and foreclosure starts on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans continued their steady decline in the third quarter, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)'s Q3 Foreclosure Prevention Report released Monday.

The GSEs completed 39,100 foreclosures in Q3, down 9 percent from the 43,000 that were completed in Q2, according to the report. This number hit its peak in Q3 2010 with 138,000 and took a while to begin it steady decline, but it has decreased quarter-over-quarter every quarter since Q3 2012.

Foreclosure starts declined from 86,000 in Q2 to 75,000 in Q3, a drop of 13 percent, according to the report. With only a few exceptions (Q4 2011, Q3 2012, and Q1 2013), foreclosure starts have declined quarter-over-quarter in every quarter since hitting their peak of 339,000 in Q3 2010.

The number of foreclosure prevention actions for Q3, 72,700, was more than double the number of foreclosures completed, according to the report. About 59,000 of these were home retention actions, most of which (45,700) came in the form of permanent loan modifications. There were nearly 11,000 repayment plans and about 2,800 forbearance plans to keep borrowers in their homes in Q3, according to FHFA.

The number of home retention actions, 59,000, was about four and a half times the total of home forfeiture actions (12,878) for the third quarter, according to the report. Home forfeiture actions during the quarter consisted of short sales, which are sales for less than the outstanding balance of a mortgage (9,200) and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure (3,600).

Home retention actions are way down from last year's pace, however. Nearly 342,000 home retention actions were completed for GSE loans in all of 2013; for the first nine months of 2014, only 199,000 home retention actions were reported. Home forfeiture actions are on the decline as well – nearly 106,000 such actions were reported for all of 2013, compared to just 42,300 for the first nine months of 2014.

The total of GSE-backed 60-day delinquent loans in Q3 was at its lowest level since the conservatorships began in September 2008, according to the report. About 666,000 such delinquent loans were reported for Q3, and the number has steadily declined every quarter since hitting a peak of 1.77 million in Q4 2009. The number of 60-day delinquent loans totaled 926,000 in Q4 2008, the first full quarter after the conservatorships began, according to the report.

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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