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Freddie Mac Reports First Delinquency Decline in Three Years

Delinquencies on single-family loans guaranteed by ""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com fell to 4.13 percent in March, down from 4.20 percent in February.

It's the first monthly decline reported by the McLean, Virginia-based mortgage giant since April 2007, and some say a sign that efforts to improve loan performance are finally gaining ground.

""The decrease was driven by a higher volume of completed loan modifications as well as higher short sale volume during the month,"" Michael Cosgrove, a spokesman for Freddie Mac, explained to _Reuters_.

The GSE's multifamily delinquency rate also dropped slightly. In March, overdue multifamily mortgages were 0.24 percent, compared to 0.25 percent the month before.

The aggregate unpaid principal balance of Freddie Mac's mortgage-related investments portfolio was $753.3 billion at the end of March, up from $732.2 billion in February.

The company explained that this growth was largely related to purchases of loans from mortgage-backed securities holders, which began in February, when ""the GSE announced"":http://dsnews.comarticles/freddie-mac-to-buy-back-more-than-71-billion-in-delinquent-loans-2010-02-10 that it would buy back more than $71 billion in delinquent loans from mortgage pools it had sold to investors.

Freddie Mac's total mortgage portfolio decreased at an annualized rate of 9.1 percent in March.

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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