Innovations in mortgage servicing technology over the past 10 years have been very helpful in keeping families in their homes after a mortgage default, according to a study by Freddie Mac.The study by Freddie Mac deputy chief economist Amy Crews Cutts and Professor Richard Green of George Washington University found that repayment plans and loan modifications are very effective at keeping borrowers in their homes. "We found that repayment plans lower the probability of home loss by 80% among all borrowers and by 68% among low- to moderate-income borrowers," Ms. Cutts said. "In addition, for servicers, foreclosure alternatives cost less than acquiring the actual property, which may carry legal and home repair costs." Freddie Mac said innovations that have proven beneficial for borrowers and servicers alike include automated reporting, remitting, and tracking; automated voice response systems; and servicing tools based on credit scores. The technology has enabled servicing costs to fall "dramatically" in the past 10 years, from an average of $120 per loan in the early 1990s to $79 per loan in 2001, the government-sponsored enterprise said. Freddie Mac can be found online at http://www.freddiemac.com.

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