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Loan mods dip for 4th straight quarter
WASHINGTON (9/2/11)--The total number of home loan modifications fell in the second quarter, the fourth straight quarter they have done so, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported on Thursday. A total of 81,200 loan modifications were completed during the most recent quarter, down from 86,200 in the first quarter of 2011. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have completed just under 1.8 million foreclosure prevention actions since late 2008, and more than half of these actions have resulted in loan modifications, the FHFA said. The number of refinancings made through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) increased 11%, and now total 838,400, the agency added. The FHFA also noted that the number of new foreclosures dropped during the quarter, while completed third-party and foreclosure sales increased. For the full FHFA report, use the resource link. Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke on Thursday called on the Obama administration to modify HARP, saying that “given the potential savings to households, the relatively low take-up on this program warrants another look at the frictions that may be impeding these refinancing transactions.” Duke suggested limiting up-front fees that are added to borrowers’ refinancing costs as one way to increase the number of government-aided mortgage refinancings. “The fees can increase the cost of refinancing by thousands of dollars and thus discourage borrowers from participating in the HARP program,” she noted. Reuters has reported that the Obama administration may announce a mortgage relief program next week. Portions of the plan could allow some borrowers to refinance even if they owe more than their property’s value. (See related story: Inside Washington)
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