OCC: Borrowers keep getting better at paying off their mortgages


American homeowners are doing a fine job keeping up with their mortgage payments, a strong sign of a healthy, functioning economy.

The latest report from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency showed an improvement in the performance of first-lien mortgages in the federal banking system during the first quarter of 2019.

The loans assessed in the survey are mortgages serviced by seven national banks with large mortgage-servicing portfolios, which include Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, PNC, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. Together, these loans comprise 31% of all residential mortgages, the OCC said.

According to the report, 96.2% of these mortgages were current and performing at the end of Q1 – up from 95.8% a year earlier.

Servicers also issued far fewer foreclosures last quarter than they did a year ago, with the OCC’s report showing a sizable 26% decline in foreclosure actions.

To help borrowers avoid foreclosure, servicers completed 17,561 mortgage modifications in Q1, with 72.6% of these resulting in a reduction of borrowers’ monthly payments.


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