Administration Warns Delinquencies Remain High Despite Decreases

Administration Warns Delinquencies Remain High Despite Decreases

07/12/2013 BY: ESTHER CHO

Foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies may be declining, but that doesn’t mean the industry should let its guard down. In the Obama Administration’s latest housing scorecard, which provides an overview of the housing market based on private and public sector data, officials continued to warn of a “fragile” recovery despite improvements.

Recently, Lender Processing Services reported delinquencies have fallen 43 percent from their 2010 peak, while RealtyTrac found foreclosure starts decreased 45 percent year-over-year in June.

“Foreclosure starts and completions are down significantly from one year ago; and since January 2012, rising home values have lifted 2.4 million homeowners back above water. That said, we remain cautious because although mortgage delinquencies are trending down, they still remain quite high compared to historic norms,” said Kurt Usowski, assistant secretary for economic affairs at HUD.

To further prevent foreclosures, the administration is continuing foreclosure prevention efforts through its national programs. So far, the Making Home Affordable Program has provided more than 1.6 million homeowner assistance actions, of which 1.2 million were through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), according to the June scorecard, jointly released jointly by HUD and Treasury.

Homeowners who received a modification through HAMP had their monthly payments chopped down by $547, or 39 percent.

In addition, 69 percent of borrowers with non-GSE mortgages were able to receive a principal reduction with their HAMP modification in May.

“Homeowners who receive help from the Administration’sHAMP program continue to show success at avoiding foreclosure, which benefits families, communities and the economy,” said Tim Massad, assistant secretary for Treasury. “HAMP has also put into place important standards for the mortgage servicing industry that have improved outcomes for struggling families more broadly.”

Along with the scorecard, the administration also released the Making Home Affordable Program report, which included an overview of servicer performance when implementing HAMP.

After gathering data on largest servicers participating in the program, the report found 88 percent of HAMP trials started on or after June 1, 2010 were converted to permanent modifications, with an average trial length of 3.5 months.

When it came to resolving non-GSE escalations, servicers were able to resolve cases within the 30 calendar days provided in the second quarter of this year.

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