Principal mortgage modifications turned into the most popular modification type in February, starting a trend that continued through June, according to Amherst Securities Group.

Amherst made that conclusion in its Non-Agency Mortgage Market Monitor report for June 2012.

Principal modifications made up 47.1% of all loan modifications in June, up from 25.7% last year. Rate modifications, on the other hand, represented 31.1% of all mods, down from 49.9% a year earlier.

Meanwhile, capitalization mods were at 21.8% in June, compared to 24.4% a year ago.

When looking at servicer activity in June, Amherst concluded that it has "witnessed a slight increase in overall modification activity off the recent low seen last month (in May)." There were 15,967 loan modifications in May, a number that rose to 17,202 in the June report.

When evaluating the universe of private label MBS, Amherst said June first-time defaults from the always performing bucket hit 0.67%, up slightly from 0.66% in May. Meanwhile, new defaults reached a value of $3.3 billion, unchanged from the previous month. Compared to the year earlier period, the always performing bucket of loans fell from $611.1 billion to $488 billion.