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HOPE NOW: Delinquencies and Foreclosure Starts Decline

Mortgage delinquencies declined 27 percent in the first half of 2011 compared to the first half of 2010, according to data from ""HOPE NOW."":http://www.hopenow.com/
[IMAGE] For the first half of 2011, the number of 60-day plus delinquencies was 2.7 million, down 1 million from the first half of 2010.

Foreclosure sales also declined year-over-year for the period â€" down 25 percent from the first half of 2010.

The total number of foreclosure starts during the first six months of 2011 was 1.13 million, a decrease of 9 percent from the first six months of 2010.

""The decrease in delinquencies combined with the drop in foreclosure starts and sales shows that more homeowners are getting assistance through the many options available to them,"" said Faith Schwartz, executive director of HOPE NOW in response to the recent data.

""Current loan modification efforts show a trend in sustainability and affordability, which is crucial to the long term health of the housing market,"" Schwartz said.

The number of loan modifications completed during the first half of 2011 decreased by 42 percent from the previous year. The total for the period was 558,000.

HOPE NOW reports that the industry has completed about 4.7 million loan modifications since 2007 when the alliance began reporting data.

""Homeowners have received 4.7 million permanent loan modifications versus 3.7 million foreclosure sales since 2007,"" Schwartz said.


""In 2011, modifications exceed foreclosure sales by more than 126,000 year to date,"" she added.

David Stevens, president of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said in a conference call the numbers show “clear, substantial results” by HOPE NOW and the industry.

“We created literally a new industry” to respond to the housing crisis, Stevens commented. However, he admitted, “We have significant work to do.”

""HAMP"":https://www.hmpadmin.com/portal/index.jsp modifications made up about 760,000 of the total 4.7 million modifications, while proprietary modifications accounted for almost 4 million.

During the first half of 2011, Both HAMP modifications and proprietary modifications declined, with HAMP modifications falling at a slightly higher rate.

Total HAMP modifications for the first half of 2011 were 183,421, a decrease of 45 percent since the same period last year.

Proprietary modifications for the period totaled 375,000, showing a decrease of 41 percent.

Eighty percent of proprietary loan modifications are currently performing, according to HOPE NOW's data.

Loan modifications with reduced principal and interest payments made up 81 percent of all proprietary loan modifications.

Fifty-seven percent of all proprietary modifications included principal and interest payment reductions of 10 percent or more.

Eighty-one percent of proprietary modifications were fixed-rate modifications.

""The industry is utilizing a breadth of government and private sector tools to help at-risk families avoid foreclosure and understand their alternatives,"" Schwartz said.

HOPE NOW is a private-sector alliance of servicers, investors, mortgage insurers, and nonprofit counseling agencies partnering to prevent foreclosures and help homeowners stay in their homes.

About Author: Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.

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