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Nearly half of Freddie Mac mortgage modifications redefault

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Of the roughly 16,000 mortgage modifications done on Freddie Mac loans in the second quarter of 2009, 42% had fallen back into delinquency 12 months after the workout, according to the third quarter financial supplement from the government-sponsored entity. According to Freddie, the redefaulted modifications are either in 90-plus day delinquency, foreclosure or REO. Freddie Mac reported a $2.5 billion loss in the third quarter and asked for another $100 million from the Treasury. Critics of the Treasury's Home Affordable Modification Program, which was launched in March 2009, pointed to growing redefault rates as proof the program is not having its intended effect on foreclosures. In fact, modifications completed through private programs outnumbered HAMP mods four to one in September. The Congressional Oversight Panel said in October up to half of all HAMP modifications would redefault, but the Treasury maintains that HAMP's biggest contribution is its standardization of the process. Later modifications done on Freddie Mac loans are performing better. Of the 9,000 modifications completed in the third quarter of 2009, 29% had redefaulted 12 months after the workout. As of the end of the period, Freddie had completed roughly 121,000 HAMP modifications since the program began, saving borrowers on average $8,700 on an annual basis. But Freddie servicers reported fewer modifications completed as of late. In the third quarter of 2010, there were roughly 38,000 mods completed, down 22% from the previous quarter. Meanwhile, nonperforming assets are still building at Freddie, growing 1.8% in the same period and 33% from a year ago to $120.1 billion total in the third quarter. Liquidating these assets cost Freddie $337 million over the third quarter. Write to Jon Prior.

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