The number of modifications on mortgages owned by Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) declined in May, the second recorded month of decline as servicers focused on implementing the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly Foreclosure Prevention Report, released Tuesday. HAMP guidelines require a three-month trial period to ensure borrowers can and do make payments on their modified mortgage before it is considered a completed modification, creating a delay in recording HAMP modifications initiated in May. FHFA said there were about 10,400 modifications completed in May. Modifications peaked to a 12-month high of 15,703 in March, but fell to 13,787 in April. Modifications accounted for 47% of all completed foreclosure prevention measures, the majority of which included both rate reductions and term extensions. After declining in April, foreclosure starts increased 5% to nearly 90,600, mostly on non-owner-occupied properties and others determined ineligible for HAMP. It’s a new 12-month peak for US foreclosures, a mark previously held in March. More homeowners’ incomes are decreasing, and so are delinquencies. There were 80,100 loans 60 or more days late in May, bringing the total up 7% to 1.3m and 40% of borrowers reported a loss of income as the biggest reason for their delinquency. Write to Austin Kilgore.
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