HOPE NOW, the voluntary, private sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and non-profit counselors, has now helped over 7 million homeowners with various foreclosure prevention alternatives since it was founded in 2007 including 6.06 loan modifications and 1.15 million short sales. The program only began tracking short sales in December 2009.
The organization released data for all of 2012 and the fourth quarter today. For all of 2012 the organization's mortgage servicers provided 850,034 loan modifications, 661,363 which were proprietary modifications and 188,671 completed through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). There were 422,605 short sales completed during the year.
Of the 6,061,589 total permanent loan modifications completed over the life of the program three-quarters or 4,939,591 were proprietary programs and 1,121,998 were completed under HAMP.
Foreclosure activity and serious mortgages delinquencies declined in 2012. There were 1.92 million foreclosure starts during the year, down 14.8 percent from the 2.26 million starts in 2011. Completed foreclosure sales declined 7.3 percent from 840,186 to 779,220. In the last month of 2012 there were approximately 2.52 million mortgage loans that were 60+ days delinquent compared to 2.79 million at the end of 2011.
Of loans modified during the year 90 percent included fixed interest rates of five years or more, 82 percent had reduced monthly payments and 75 percent had reductions in payment of 10 percent or more.
On a quarter over quarter basis proprietary modifications increased to 200,931 from 185,608, an 8.3 percent increase from the third quarter. Foreclosure starts were down 27.2 percent to 363,499 from 499,362 and foreclosure sales decreased 3.6 percent to 188,814 from 195,918.
Eric Selk, Executive Director, "In the past year, there has been unprecedented work from the industry with respect to short sales as a viable mortgage solution. For example, many mortgage servicers have staffed our borrower events with short sale specialists in order to help train real estate agents and created intake portals specifically for the short sale process. Additionally, mortgage servicers are utilizing better communication tools such as Single Point of Contact and assisting with refinance options through HARP.
In 2012, we hosted 20 events with an attendance of over 14,000. In addition, five HOPE NOW events were held on military bases that saw more than 500 Service Members receive face to face assistance. Our ability to bring together industry, non-profit organizations, government agencies and others on behalf of homeowners is unmatched, and we will continue our aggressive outreach to borrowers in 2013."