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Foreclosure Prevention Efforts Aren’t Keeping Pace with Defaults: LPS

Despite servicers' efforts to modify unprecedented volumes of troubled mortgages and a large-scale government-led program put in place to stem the nation's viral foreclosure epidemic, they haven't been enough to keep up with the rapid pace of loan deterioration, according to new data from ""Lender Processing Services"":http://www.lpsvcs.com (LPS).


""A market report released by the company"":http://www.lpsvcs.com/NewsRoom/IndustryData/Documents/03-2010%20Mortgage%20Monitor/Pres_MM_Feb10Data.pdf Monday shows that the total number of delinquent loans as of the end of February was 21.3 percent higher than it was a year earlier. Although the data showed a small 1.45 percent seasonal decline in delinquencies from January 2010 to February 2010, LPS reported that the national delinquency rate still stood at 10.2 percent.

Although delinquencies remained relatively level, the nation's foreclosure inventories reached record highs in February. Based on LPS' analysis, the foreclosure rate of 3.31 percent represented a 51.1 percent year-over-year increase.

Furthermore, the percentage of new problem loans is also at its highest level in five years. LPS found that more than 1.1 million loans that were current at the beginning of


January 2010 were already at least 30 days delinquent or in foreclosure by February 2010 month-end.

According to the company's data, the number of non-current first-lien mortgages and REO properties now total more than 7.9 million loans.

LPS noted in its report that as a result of the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), delinquent loans that were modified and that remained current through HAMP's three-month trial period - called ""cures-to-current"" - have increased. Advanced delinquency rolls, however, remain elevated from a historical perspective, the company said.

Both delinquency and foreclosure inventories remain bloated, LPS said, thanks to high volumes of problem loans in combination with prolonged loss mitigation efforts and foreclosure moratoria.

With 10.2 percent of borrowers delinquent and 3.3 percent in foreclosure, the nation's total rate of non-current loans has hit 13.5 percent, LPS said.

Based on the company's analysis, the states with the most non-current loans include: Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Mississippi, California, New Jersey, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana.

The states with fewest non-current loans are: North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, Vermont, Colorado, Washington, and Minnesota.

Commentary from ""Freddie Mac’s"":http://www.freddiemac.com economic team Monday says, “The current large backlog of seriously delinquent mortgages remains a daunting prospect for many local markets across the country, and it may take two years or more to return to more normal housing market conditions.”

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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