Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure In Q1, Data Says

The first quarter of 2013 has seen a drastic 2-to-1 ratio of loan modifications and short sales over foreclosure sales. HOPE NOW, a private sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and nonprofit counselors reports that from January through March, servicers implanted 202,776 loan modifications and 42,157 modifications under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

Servicers have provided more than 6.32 million loan modifications to homeowners since 2007. More than 5 million of those modifications were from the private sector, while 1.18 million were through HAMP. In addition to a staggering number of loan modifications, the industry has completed 1.23 million short sales since 2009. More than 80,000 borrowers have avoided foreclosure through the short sale process, which is down 21% from Q4 of 2012. The first quarter of 2013 has seen 328,327 collective loan modifications and short sales. HOPE NOW’s data shows foreclosure sales fell 14% to 161,641.

The 2-to-1 ratio for short sales/loan modifications to foreclosure sales is “continued proof that the efforts of the industry, the government, the non-profit community and others still has significant, positive impact on the house market and the overall economy,” says Eric Selk, executive director of HOPE NOW.

Not all Q1 stats followed the trend, however. Foreclosure starts increased 30% in Q1 to about 472,000. That said, foreclosure starts actually declined 40% from February to March to 115,582 compared to 191,589 the previous month.

The housing market continues to be a driving factor in the economy’s recovery. As the market improves, we will continue to see healthy growth in markets nationwide.