Instances of serious mortgage delinquency and foreclosure fell during the final three months of last year, according to the latest quarterly statistics from the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision. During that period, just 12.4 percent of all 32.9 home loans controlled by large national lenders were not listed as current, marking the fourth consecutive quarter in which home loan delinquency has declined.
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In addition, the rates at which foreclosures were initiated fell slightly, the report said. There were 352,318 new foreclosure proceedings started during the final three months of 2010, an 8 percent decrease from the third quarter. Meanwhile, completed foreclosures fell far more significantly to just 95,067, a drop of almost 50 percent.
Consumers who sought to have their home loans altered by their lender or through government programs were also more successful during this period, the report said. Almost 90 percent of the 208,696 home loan modifications during the fourth quarter of 2010 allowed homeowners to reduce the amount they paid in both principal and interest payments, with the average savings totaling $414 a month.
Many homeowners may also be getting control of their finances as the recession ends and they have been able to more successfully reduce other debt obligations.