""HOPE NOW"":http://www.hopenow.com says its first quarter data shows a surge in solutions for troubled homeowners, including completed loan modifications, trial modifications, and other workout plans.[IMAGE]
In all, the organization says the mortgage industry completed almost half a million loan modifications for homeowners during the first three months of 2010 Ã¢â‚¬" 476,192 to be exact. That's a 29 percent increase from the 370,440 loan mods executed during same period last year.
HOPE NOW explained that its data combines servicers' proprietary modifications and permanent mods offered under the Treasury's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). In the first quarter of 2010, the industry completed 312,329 proprietary loan modifications and 163,863 permanent HAMP modifications.
According to HOPE NOW's industry data, since July of 2007, over 2.88 million borrowers have been offered loan restructurings that allowed them to stay in their homes.[COLUMN_BREAK]
The organization also reported that foreclosure starts are down 5 percent compared to a year earlier. During the first three months of 2010, lenders initiated 691,020 foreclosures, compared to 728,780 in Q1 2009.
Faith Schwartz, executive director of HOPE NOW, commented, ""At the beginning of 2009, after a tremendously challenging 18 months ramping up to meet the crisis, HOPE NOW and its alliance partners promised distressed borrowers that we would re-double our efforts to help struggling homeowners.
Schwartz says HOPE NOW members are working aggressively to manage multiple solutions to avoid foreclosure. These include outreach through support of the 888-995-HOPE hotline for borrowers facing foreclosure; more than 70 homeownership preservation events held nationwide to date; loan modifications which include principal and interest reductions; and liquidation alternatives, such as short sales, for borrowers seeking a graceful exit to homeownership.
""It is clear our work is far from over,"" Schwartz said. ""Alliance members have demonstrated their commitment to helping homeowners, their ability to find workable solutions, and their willingness to implement multiple intervention solutions to stabilize markets and homeowners.""
DSNews.com ""broke the story Monday"":http://dsnews.comarticles/faith-schwartz-to-step-down-as-executive-director-of-hope-now-2010-05-10 about Schwartz's intention to transition out of her role as executive director of HOPE NOW, effective June 1.
Schwartz explained to DSNews.com that she will continue to serve in an advisory capacity for several months after she steps down, and she stressed that HOPE NOW and its members will remain focused on continuing their mission of homeownership preservation.