GSEs Reach Foreclosure Prevention Milestone

As the year closes, the Federal Housing Finance Agency(FHFA) is celebrating a critical milestone.

The GSEs’ conservator announced on Tuesday that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have completed more than 3 million foreclosure prevention actions since the start of their conservatorship in September 2008. FHFA noted this milestone in a third-quarter report that details results of the companies’ foreclosure prevention programs.

FHFA categorizes foreclosure prevention activity in two broad categories: home retention actions and foreclosure alternatives. Initiatives such as the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and other non-HAMPmodification programs, forbearance plans, streamlined modifications, and repayment plans fall under the former category. The latter includes deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure and short sales.

Helping families avoid foreclosure through loan modifications and other programs has been a priority of

the agency and is one of the key goals of FHFA’s strategic plan for the GSEs’ conservatorship.

The agency’s report notes that nearly 1.5 million GSEloans have been permanently modified since the start of conservatorship. In addition to the foreclosure prevention actions, the GSEs have completed more than 18 million refinances since April 2009, including more than 2.9 million through the Home Affordable Refinance Program(HARP).

“Three million completed foreclosure prevention actions is a significant achievement,” said Edward J. DeMarco, FHFA’s acting director.

“It represents real assistance to homeowners, improved stability for their communities, and has produced meaningful savings for taxpayers,” DeMarco continued. “I am grateful for the persistent effort of everyone at FHFA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, who have contributed to reaching this milestone.”

In the third quarter of 2013, the number of Fannie Maeand Freddie Mac delinquent loans continued to drop, with serious delinquencies declining 8 percent nationally.FHFA also found that more than half of troubled homeowners who received permanent loan modifications in the third quarter had their monthly payments reduced by more than 30 percent.

The more than 3 million foreclosure prevention actions completed since the start September 2008 have helped roughly 2.5 million borrowers remain in their homes. In addition, more than 500,000 borrowers avoided foreclosure through short sales or deeds-in-lieu.

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