Monday, October 21, 2013

Home Loan Modifications On the Rise

Has the Illinois foreclosure crisis ended yet?  While consumers across the country continue to wonder when home sales and neighborhood upkeep will return to normal, many homeowners continue to struggle to make their mortgage payments.  However, recent figures suggest that more of these homeowners are taking advantage of mortgage modifications before allowing their homes to fall into foreclosure.  According to a recent article in, mortgage modifications are on the rise.
Do you have questions about how to avoid foreclosure in the Chicago area?  Could a loan modification help your family with the monthly mortgage payment?  An experienced foreclosure defense attorney can answer your questions today.
Data Shows Increased Mortgage Modifications
As of the end of August, reports that mortgage servicers had completed 67,000 mortgage loan modifications.  That brings the total number of mortgage loan modifications for 2013 up to 580,000.  This figures includes significantly more mortgage loan modifications than in 2012.  In fact, according to data collected by HOPE NOW, which is a voluntary private-sector alliance, more families are entering into mortgage loan modifications than there are foreclosure sales.  Indeed, “year-to-date loan modifications outpace foreclosure sales by about 142,000.”
Of the mortgage modifications completed in August, about two-thirds were proprietary modifications, while about one-third were modifications that were completed through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which is run through the federal government.  In addition to an increase in mortgage modifications, HOPE NOW’s data also showed a strikingly high number of short sales across the country.  According to Eric Selk, the executive director of HOPE NOW, that means that homeowners are beginning to realize that they have more options than they used to believe, and many can avoid foreclosure even if they’re having trouble making mortgage payments.  Selk said, “the bottom line is that there are more tools for consumers than ever before to handle mortgage challenges.”  According to Selk, these new market tools are making homeownership something that’s beginning to be sustainable again.
Foreclosure Sales Remain Static—How Long Will Recovery Take?
While the data reported by shows hope for homeownership with the increased number of mortgage modifications, there hasn’t been much of a change when it comes to foreclosure sales.  According to the article, the number of foreclosure sales has remained pretty static from month to month, at about 60,000.  However, this number might be a bit misleading—many homes have been in the foreclosure process for months, and thus the monthly number of foreclosure sales might simply reflect a backlog of properties.
Indeed, actual foreclosure starts appear to have decreased over the summer, “from 102,000 in July to 101,000 in August.”  In addition, according to, “60-plus-day delinquencies declined 2.5 percent to 2.18 million.”
Since the housing crash, a significant number of homeowners have been able to avoid foreclosure, with 5.4 million obtaining proprietary modifications and about 1.26 million obtaining modifications through HAMP since 2009.  It’s important to know that these solutions to avoiding foreclosure are available to Illinois families.  Are you concerned about making your monthly mortgage payment?  Do you have questions about avoiding foreclosure?  It’s never too soon to speak to an experienced foreclosure defense attorney.  Don’t hesitate to contact the dedicated advocates at the Emerson Law Firm.
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