Foreclosure Starts and Sales Hit New Lows: Hope Now


Distressed homeowners who obtained loan modifications fell to approximately 42,000 in February, a 5% decrease from the month before and a sign that the number of borrowers needing assistance is declining, according to the Hope Now alliance.

For February, a little less than 30,000 homeowners received proprietary loan modifications, while roughly 12,500 got their mortgage payments reduced through the Home Affordable Modification Program, the report said.

“This is an indicator that the availability of a multitude of nonforeclosure options continues to have a positive impact on the housing market,” Hope Now said in its report.

Overall, nearly 6.93 million homeowners have received a loan modification since Hope Now began tracking this data seven years ago.

“We are pleased by the efforts of our servicer members, nonprofit partners and government partners on behalf of struggling homeowners,” said Eric Selk, executive director at Hope Now. “Even with serious delinquencies in decline, the industry continues to offer homeowners a multitude of sustainable and viable solutions that are alternatives to foreclosure.”

Other data Hope Now revealed is that 11,000 short sales were completed in February, which represents 1,000 less than the previous month.

The fewest number of foreclosure sales and foreclosure starts were completed in February, according to Hope Now. There were 36,000 foreclosure sales in February, a monthly decline of 24%, while only 69,000 borrowers began the foreclosure process, down 8% from January.

Furthermore, 60 days or more mortgage delinquencies were under two million for the second consecutive month at approximately 1.98 million. In December 2009, this statistic was twice as much.

“This number is yet another indicator of the progress made in stabilizing the housing market,” the Washington-based alliance of mortgage servicers and counselors said.

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