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Foreclosures jump 31% in third quarter: OCC

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Large banks and thrifts foreclosed on 382,000 homes in the third quarter, a 31.2% spike from the previous quarter, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Foreclosures increased 3.7% from a year ago, and more are coming. There are 1.2 million homes in the foreclosure process as of the end of the third quarter, up 4.5% from the previous quarter and an increase of 10.1% from a year ago. The OCC, which oversees the largest banks and absorbs the Office of Thrift Supervision in 2011, said lenders have picked up the pace of foreclosures to get through their backlogs. Still, 87.4% of the 33.3 million loans in the banks' portfolios were current and performing at the end of the quarter, which held unchanged from the previous quarter. While the amount of borrowers in 60-plus day delinquency dropped 6.4% from the previous quarter, mortgages between 30- and 60-days delinquent increased 4.3%. But servicers reported more home retention actions than foreclosures in the third quarter. More than 470,000 borrowers received either a trial modification, permanent modification or shorter-term payment plans. Of the modifications completed in the third quarter, 88% included a principal reduction to go with the interest-rate decrease, and more than 54% reduced monthly payments by at least 20%. More recent modifications are performing better than earlier ones, too. For those completed in the fourth quarter of 2009, 20.2% were seriously delinquent after six months. For those made in the second quarter of 2009, 33.5% were seriously delinquent after the same amount of time. Write to Jon Prior.

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