Markets & Economy

Mortgage mods up for first time in two years

LPS: FHA changes spur increase in February loan cures

Mortgage modifications increased significantly in the second half of 2012, reversing a two-year decline, according to a report released today by real estate data firm Lender Processing Services. LPS said the majority of the increases in the third and fourth quarters of 2012 were proprietary modifications made outside the government-backed Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). After making 497,000 mortgage modifications in the first half of 2010, loan servicers dialed back relief efforts, with loan mods dropping to 199,000 in the first half of 2012, according to LPS. But in the second half of 2012 they increased by 41 percent to 280,000, the firm's data showed. The increase occurred as major lenders part of the robo-signing settlement provided billions in mortgage relief to beleaguered homeowners in order to atone for illegal foreclosures. Partly due to an increase in modifications, the number of delinquent loans that became current in February rose by 9 percent, acco...