Loan modifications and short sales continue to outpace foreclosure sales this year, according to the latest data from Hope Now.
With about 63,000 homeowners receiving permanent, affordable loan modifications from mortgage servicers in July, this brings the total number of loan modifications offered either through proprietary programs or the Home Affordable Modification Program to 519,000.
For the month of July, an estimated 50,000 homeowners obtained proprietary loan modifications, while the Department of Treasury reported that 13,183 borrowers attained a HAMP modification.
Meanwhile, so far this year nearly 378,000 foreclosure sales have been reported. This is 80,000 less than the same time period a year ago.
During July, there were about 59,000 foreclosure sales finalized. A month ago, servicers wrapped up 52,000 foreclosure sales, representing a month-over-month difference of 14%.
Hope Now said foreclosure starts were slightly up as well in July from June. In July, the Washington-based private sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and nonprofit counselors recorded nearly 102,000 foreclosure starts, compared to 98,000 in June, which is an increase of roughly 5%.
Loans deemed to be seriously delinquent remained relatively flat on a monthly basis. Delinquencies of 60 days or more were at 2.24 million for July, while there were 2.21 million in June.
Additionally, short sales for July were the same as June with approximately 26,000. Since Hope Now began tracking short sale data four years ago, about 1.32 million have been completed.
Eric Selk, executive director of Hope Now, stated that the July data shows a consistent trend of sustainability and affordability for homeowners, but more work needs to be done to inform borrowers about options they have to lower their mortgage payments to avoid foreclosure.
“While progress is being made in the housing market, there is still a need for aggressive outreach and education by mortgage servicers, government agencies, nonprofits and local groups to at-risk homeowners,” Selk said. “Hope Now will continue to spearhead this initiative through face-to-face borrower outreach events in key markets and collaboration with all stakeholders.”