Loan modifications and other foreclosure prevention measures directed at privately owned mortgages continued at a high rate during both September and the entire third quarter of 2012.  HOPE NOW, the voluntary, private sector alliance of mortgage servicers, mortgage insurers, and non-profit housing counselors reports the completion of 219,333 loan modifications during the third quarter.  Proprietary modifications numbered 186,057, a 41 percent increase over the second quarter when there were 131,556 and 15 percent more than the 161,764 completed in the third quarter of 2011.  There were another 33,276 modifications completed through the government sponsored Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) during July and August 2012.  September figures for HAMP modifications have not yet been released.   

For the month of September, there were 60,595 proprietary loan modifications. This was a 2 percent increase over the 59,459 modifications in the month of August.

Since 2007 the mortgage industry has completed 5.82 million total permanent loan modifications for homeowners. Of those loan modifications, 4,739,109 were proprietary programs and 1,076,747 were completed under HAMP not including September figures which are not yet in.  

There were 110,153 short sales completed through the program in the third quarter, up 3 percent from the second quarter and 16 percent higher than the 94,560 completed in the third quarter of 2011.  There have been 1.05 million short sales arranged through HOPE NOW since it began in 2009 and the combination of loan modifications and short sales has brought the total number of permanent, non-foreclosure solutions to approximately 6.87 million.

Foreclosure starts in the third quarter of 2012 were 16 percent lower than a year earlier, 503,995 vs. 597,447 and foreclosure sales were down slightly to 197,937 from 199,383.  Delinquencies of 60 days or more declined 12 percent to 2.45 million vs. 2.80 million. 

Faith Schwartz, Executive Director of HOPE NOW said of the program's recent results, "The combination of loan modifications and short sales solutions completed by mortgage servicers in the third quarter of the year, totals over 329,000. That compares to approximately 198,000 foreclosure sales during the same time period.

"Based on the results of the third quarter 2012 data, there remains a strong focus on foreclosure prevention solutions which continue to outpace the loss of a home through foreclosure. It cannot be stated enough that mortgage servicers have more tools than ever before, via proprietary and government programs, to offer the most viable and realistic options for at-risk homeowners.'