Foreclosures and short sales rising, despite loss mitigation efforts

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue an aggressive push to modify mortgages and refinance loans in their respective portfolios, boosting the volume of Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) workout plans.

But completed and initiated foreclosures and third-party sales are back on the rise in the second quarter of 2010 and short sale volume is up more than 150% from volume in 2Q09, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s second quarter government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) “Foreclosure Prevention & Refinance Report.”

During 2Q10, the volume of permanent modifications under HAMP increased 65% and refinancing of existing GSE loans through HARP increased 30%.

New foreclosure starts totaled 275,095 in 2Q10, an increase of nearly 12% from 1Q10 and brings the total for the first half of 2010 to 521,368. That’s down from the first half of 2009 (1H09), when there were 543,032 foreclosure starts. Foreclosure starts peaked in 2Q09, declining for the rest of last year. But starts are back up, as seen in the chart below (click to expand):

Foreclosure sales increased 12.65% to 104,497, from 92,760 in 1Q10 — a combined 197,257 sales in 1H10 compared to 93,969 sales in 1H09.

Third-party and foreclosure sales totaled 112,353 in 2Q10, up 14.7% from 97,931 in 1Q10, 210,284 for the 1H10, compared to 98,225 during 1H09.

Nonforeclosure home forfeitures were also up at the GSEs, the result of a surge in short sales. There were 29,375 short sales in 2Q10, up 25.6% from 23,379 in 1Q10 and up 150% from 11,705 in 2Q09. Short sales volume in 1H10 totaled 52,754, up 167% from 19,759 during 1H09.

The report also said the rate of modified loans that become delinquent 60 days after modification are taking a smaller share of the pool. In 1Q10, 8% of modified loans were delinquent three months after modification (down from the 4Q08 peak of 16%) and 16% were delinquent six months after modification (down from a peak of 38% in 3Q08).

Modified loans that are current and performing are also on the rise. GSE mortgages still current three months after modification totaled 81% (up from a bottom of 47% in 3Q08) and six months after modification, 69% are still current (up from a bottom of 34% in 2Q08). The remaining modified loans in the GSE books are not accounted for in the charts below (click to expand).

An FHFA spokesperson said the remaining 11% of loans three months after modification and 15% six months after modification are mostly 30-59 days delinquent, and in some cases, loans that are paid off.

by Austin Kilgore
11:20 AM September 10, 2010

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