The number of delinquent borrowers who started U.S. home loan modifications declined in the third quarter as fewer people qualified for easier payment terms, according to the Treasury Department.
There were 470,372 new modification or payment plans begun in the three months ended Sept. 30, down 17 percent from the previous quarter and 32 percent from a year earlier, the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Office of Thrift Supervision said in a report today.
“You’ll probably see some more stabilization now,” Bruce Krueger, lead mortgage expert for the Office of the Comptroller, said during a conference call today. “I really can’t forecast whether there’s going to be a continuing decline, but I think we’re going to see more stability.”
The Obama administration is struggling to meet goals in its foreclosure-reduction plan after the worst housing market collapse since the Great Depression. The number of homeowners who qualified for permanent loan modifications through the government’s main program totaled 504,648 as of November, short of the 3 million target, the Treasury Department said Dec. 22.
Another 1.9 million homeowners started modifications under private lenders’ programs, the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Dec. 22.
Owners of 6.92 million U.S. properties were delinquent or in foreclosure as of Nov. 30, Lender Processing Services Inc. said in a report this week. That compared with a peak of 8.12 million in January, according to the Jacksonville, Florida-based mortgage servicing and information company.
The Treasury Department’s Mortgage Metrics Report examines data on 33.3 million home loans valued at $6 trillion, representing 64 percent of all first-lien mortgages in the country.
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