HOPE Now, which was the first program initiated to deal with the mounting foreclosure problem in 2007, has reached a level of 4.86 million loan modifications.  HOPE is a voluntary private sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, private mortgage insurers and non-profit housing and debt counselors. 

HOPE reports there were 56,000 permanent modifications of proprietary loans during August,  unchanged from the July rate.  This brings the total of proprietary modifications since 2007 to 4.06 million.  An additional 791,399 modifications were completed up to the end of July through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), a joint initiative of the Departments of the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development.  

To date this year HOPE has completed 690,000 permanent loan modifications.  An estimated 478,000 of these were proprietary and 211,749 were completed under HAMP with August HAMP totals not yet tabulated.

Completed foreclosure sales increased in August from 65,000 to 68,000 (+5 percent) and foreclosure starts increased 18 percent from 185,000 in July to 218,000 in August.  Sixty plus day delinquencies were up only slight from July figures at 2.81 million.

Reduced principal and interest payments accounted for approximately 83 percent of modifications in August and 38,000 loans were modified with reductions in principal and interest payments of more than 10 percent.  Eight-three percent of proprietary modifications in August were fixed-rate with initial periods of five years or more.

Faith Schwartz, Executive Director, reports, "HOPE NOW's servicing partners continue to complete permanent loan modifications at a rate consistent with past months - in spite of tremendous negative impact of the continued housing and unemployment crisis.  And, in cases where modifications are not possible, the industry is working hard to educate at-risk homeowners about the options available to them."