Even as foreclosure activity wanes, homeowners continue to seek and obtain loan modifications through HOPE NOW. The program announced today that it had completed 204,000 modifications during the second quarter of the year, about 160,000 of them proprietary and the remainder completed through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP.)

HOPE NOW is a voluntary private sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, private mortgage insurers and non-profit housing counselors. Since it was founded at the beginning of the housing crisis in 2007 its members have facilitated 6.52 million permanent mortgage modifications. Of those, 5.31 million were proprietary and 1.224 million were completed through HAMP.

In addition to loan modifications the program has assisted 1.32 million borrowers to exit homeownership through short sales; 81,000 of those sales were completed in the second quarter of this year and a total of 165,000 thus far in 2013.

HOPE NOW said foreclosure starts dropped by 30 percent in the second quarter compared to the first. There were an estimated 329,000 foreclosures initiated between April 1 and June 30 compared to 472,000 in the previous three months. Completed foreclosure sales also declined slightly, from 162,000 in Quarter 1 to 158,000, a 2 percent decrease.

There were substantial year over year improvements in HOPE NOW's metrics. Permanent modifications were up 13 percent from the second quarter of 2012 when they totaled 182,000. Foreclosure starts were down 38 percent year-over-year and foreclosure sales declined by 15 percent. There were 107,000 short sales in the second quarter of 2012, about one-quarter more than in the most recent period.

Eric Selk, Executive Director of HOPE NOW said the mission of his organization remains the same as at its founding in 2007, "To reach out and assist as many homeowners as possible using all of the tools at our disposal. In addition to the progress made via our solution data, HOPE NOW has sponsored over 140 face to face events in more than 70 markets nationwide and has been a driving force in bringing together all mortgage stakeholders in the interest of improving the nation's housing market.