According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, foreclosure prevention actions at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have fallen for the fifth-straight month. These foreclosure preventions include loan modifications or repayment plans.
HousingWire reported that the number of total foreclosure preventions this month dropped from 61,000 the previous month to 55,070. These numbers are also down from the 77,800 preventions a year ago. The highest number of total foreclosure preventions was back in March 2010 when servicers finalized 101,400 actions.
More than half of the prevention actions can be attributed to completed modifications. They were at 25,424 in February, which decreased from 31,000 the month before. According to HousingWire.com, this is the lowest total of modifications in the last year. 15,000 repayment plans and 7,827 short sales were completed. 540 deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure and around 6,200 forbearance plans were started for the month.
Prevention actions through the Home Affordable Refinancing Program added up to 47,000 loans in February. This number has risen from 41,000 in the previous month.
Servicers began 66,477 foreclosures on GSE loans in February. This number has come down from 91,000 the month before and looking back a year the number was at 71,000. The pinnacle of this number was in July 2010 when 121,600 foreclosures were started.
The rate of serious delinquencies at Fannie and Freddie decreased by two basis points to 4.18 percent in February. This rate has decreased almost a full percentage point from 5.03 percent from a year ago.
In response to their delinquencies, borrowers are saying that a decrease in income has greatly affected them. Fourteen percent claimed excessive obligations while 8 percent stated unemployment as the reason for falling behind.