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Hope Now servicers complete 5 million loan modifications since 2007

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Hope Now, a voluntary alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, counselors and insurers, said members completed 5 million loan modifications since 2007, supporting the idea that nonprofit and private-sector players can resolve mortgage issues through collaboration. Of the modifications completed, 4.11 million were proprietary modifications and 856,974 were completed under the Home Affordable Modification Program, the group said. "When Hope Now started reporting data at the end of 2007, loan modifications were barely measurable," said Faith Schwartz, executive director. "Homeowners either paid their mortgages or forfeited their homes. However, over the past four years the housing crisis has taught us to re-think helping distressed homeowners through an unprecedented level of collaboration, funding, manpower and expanded resources. Five million hard working American families have been able to prevent foreclosures through permanent loan modifications." Of the proprietary loan modifications conducted, 80% are performing six months after completing the process, Hope Now said. In addition, the inventory of loans that are more than 60-days late hit 2.81 million in the third quarter, which is down from 3.17 million in 2010. Foreclosure starts also fell in the third quarter to 600,000, compared to 709,000 during the third quarter of 2010, a drop of 15%. Meanwhile, foreclosure sales fell 36% to 200,000 from 314,000 a year earlier. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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