Foreclosure prevention actions enacted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have prevented 2.9 million foreclosures since 2008, with 247,000 home rescues completed by the GSEs in just the first half of 2013, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reports.

In the second quarter of this year, 117,000 homes were saved through some type of modification, the FHFA added in its 2013 Foreclosure Prevention Report.

Overall, delinquent loans fell nationally in the second quarter with the number of seriously delinquent borrowers falling 7% at the GSEs, the lowest level reported since the agencies entered conservatorship.

More than half of troubled borrowers receiving a permanent loan modifications in 2Q of this year saw their monthly payments reduced by more than 30%.

About one-third of permanent loan modifications in the second quarter included some type of principal forbearance, while another 29,000 or so involved short sales and deeds-in-lieu.

Third-party sales and foreclosure sales also continued to fall, dropping 10% in the second quarter while foreclosure starts fell 11%, the FHFA noted.

The FHFA’s data trend somewhat mirrors information released by Lender Processing Services in its own Mortgage Monitor report for August 2013.

Based on the latest mortgage data studied by the analytics firm, foreclosures hit a rate of 2.66% in August, down 5.7% from July and down 34.1% from last year.

Foreclosure starts also fell 4.7% from the prior month, hitting 107,552 starts, down 46.5% from a year earlier.

Of the mortgage pool studied by LPS, 5.22% loans were seriously delinquent, or 90 days past due in August, down 5.6% from a month earlier and a 26.2% drop from a year ago.

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