Hope Now loan modification data for February show a persistent upward trend of month-over-month mortgage loan workout activity either in the form of a loan modification or short sale.
The nation’s voluntary, private sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and nonprofit counselors reported an estimated 81,351 homeowners received a permanent loan modification in February, up 6% from the 76,755 reported in January.
It brings the total number of modifications completed under servicers’ proprietary programs and the Home Affordable Modification Program since 2007 to 6.23 million.
Short sales also continue to have an impact in the mortgage default market despite fluctuations.
In February 26,388 homeowners avoided foreclosure through short sales compared to 29,648 in January, down 3,260 month-over-month.
Since Hope Now began tracking short sale data in 2009, approximately 1.21 million short sales have been completed, which is higher than the 1.16 million HAMP workouts reported during this same period.
In comparison, nearly 5.1 million homeowners have received proprietary loan modifications since 2007, indicating that mortgage servicers have carried most of the foreclosure prevention burdens since the crisis escalated.
Default management data show the overall housing market performance improvements continue to persist.
For example, by the end of February the number of serious delinquencies, or loans past due by 60 days or more, was at 2.48 million, down 2% from 2.54 million in January.
However, in February foreclosure starts—also based on data reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association for the fourth quarter of 2012—increased 16% to a total of 193,860, up from 167,232 in January.
According to Hope Now executive director Eric Selk, right now there are more sustainable options than ever before, including various events that so far in 2013 have assisted over 2,700 homeowners in Atlanta, Miami, New Jersey and Las Vegas.
Upcoming events will take place in Los Angeles in April and Chicago in May.