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Subprime Foreclosures Improve

Feb. subprime REOs fall to 31,816

March 30, 2009

By staff

Fewer foreclosures were filed on subprime mortgages last month. The news wasn't so good, however, for prime loans. The number of completed modifications, meanwhile, moved higher.

Of the 53.5 million U.S. mortgages outstanding, 5.57 percent were at least 60 days past due in February, HOPE NOW reported today. Delinquency climbed from 5.43 percent in January and 3.19 percent in February 2008.

The findings were extrapolated from data submitted by 26 HOPE NOW alliance servicers, including 22 subprime servicers. HOPE NOW said the 38.3 million loans serviced by the firms as of Feb. 28 -- including 32.5 million prime loans and 5.8 million subprime mortgages -- accounted for 72 percent of the total industry.

Delinquency on prime mortgages was 3.89 percent, rising from January's 3.74 percent. Subprime delinquency increased just 1 basis point to 17.77 percent.

Foreclosures were started on 243,000 residential loans last month, higher than 217,000 during January and 179,000 in February of last year. So far this year, 460,000 foreclosures have been started.

Prime foreclosure starts jumped to 157,000 in February from 126,000 the previous month. But foreclosures initiated on subprime loans fell to 86,000 from 91,000.

Foreclosures were completed on 87,346 U.S. mortgages during February, up from the prior month's 68,114 and the prior year's 67,000. Year-to-date real-estate-owned filings were 155,460.

Although on prime mortgages soared to 55,530 from the previous month's 30,413 -- subprime repossessions fell to 31,816 from 37,700.

Workout plans were established with 244,474 U.S. borrowers in February, easing from 248,175 the prior month. During February 2008, there were 156,000 workouts. A total of 492,649 workouts have occurred this year.

Included in the latest workouts were 133,836 modifications -- rising from 123,409 in January and 55,000 a year earlier. So far during 2009, 257,245 loans have been modified.

Prime modifications were 42,503 last month, up from January's 34,669. Subprime modifications rose to 91,333 from 88,740.

HOPE NOW noted that the data do not yet reflect the impact from the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, which was unveiled last month.

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