Seven out of ten seriously delinquent borrowers are not tracking towards a loss mitigation solution, according to a report released today by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, who said that a rising number of loan delinquencies are outpacing gains in loss mitigation efforts. The State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group, a task force organized last summer by Iowa AG Tom Miller, said that while servicers have increased staffing and pushed creative outreach efforts, a large gap remains between homeowners most in need of loss mitigation and the number currently receiving assistance. The working group comprises representatives of the Attorneys General of 11 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas), two state banking departments (New York and North Carolina), and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. In line with a report issued late Wednesday by the HOPE NOW industry consortium, the CSBS report did find that servicers have increased their use of loan modifications — among delinquent borrowers in contact with their servicers, 45 percent are working on executing a loan modification. “Servicers are increasing their use of longer-term changes to the mortgage loan, versus their earlier reliance on short term repayment or forbearance agreements,” the organization said in a press statement. “The report released today by the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group corroborates other evidence that lenders are increasingly helping borrowers who are falling behind on their mortgage payments,” said Kieran Quinn, MBA chairman. “This is the same trend we clearly see in the more recent data collected by the HOPE NOW alliance.” Interestingly, the report also suggested that the largest contributor to loan resolution was homeowners helping themselves: the State Bank Supervisors said their analysis found that it was actions by homeonwers — many of whom caught up on back payments — and not the actions of servicers that actually prevented the majority of foreclosures. The report also noted that the refinancing option “has nearly evaporated.” “Despite recent interest rate cuts, the mortgage industry will not be able to refinance its way out of this crisis absent dramatic changes in loan products of a reversal in home price declines,” the CSBS group said. The full report is available here.
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