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Fannie, Freddie mortgage modifications drop 28% in 1Q

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac servicers provided 86,201 modifications in the first quarter, down 28% from the previous quarter, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The drop comes after modifications fell 18% in the fourth quarter. Combined with repayment and forbearance plans, servicers retained nearly 144,000 homes in the period. Servicers also started 260,000 foreclosures, and although that is down from 310,000 from the previous quarter, it's nearly double the amount of homes retained. Servicers provided 26,00 permanent workouts under the Home Affordable Modification Program, up from 17,000 in the previous three months. Another 64,000 loans were put into active HAMP trials, meaning the majority of the modification activity for Fannie and Freddie mortgages went through HAMP. Since the Treasury Department launched HAMP in March 2009, Fannie and Freddie servicers permanently modified more than 320,000 mortgages, according to FHFA data. Short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure remained nearly unchanged from the previous period at roughly 27,500. Roughly 44% of the borrowers said their reason for delinquency was a curtailment of income, compared to 14% who said they had too many obligations and 4% who pointed their continued unemployment. Refinancings through the Home Affordable Refinancing Program totaled 130,204 in the first quarter, down 8% from the previous quarter. However, more than 16,000 of the refinancings were done on loans with a loan-to-value ratio of 105% or higher in the first quarter. The amount of delinquent loans on Fannie and Freddie balance sheets declined. Mortgages between 30- and 60-days delinquent totaled 553,000 in the first quarter, down 16%. There were 1.3 million loans more than 60-days delinquent, which dropped 7% from the previous period. And loans in serious delinquent or in the foreclosure process dropped to 1.19 million, down 5% from the previous period. Seriously delinquent loans dropped to 4.02% in the first quarter, down more than 20 basis points from the previous period. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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