HOPE NOW projects big increases in foreclosure prevention successes in 2009MortgagePress.comHOPE NOW, foreclosure, FHA, Streamlined Modification Program, Financial Services Roundtable, Homeownership Preservation Foundation
HOPE NOW, the private sector alliance of mortgage servicers,
counselors, and investors that has been working aggressively to
prevent foreclosures and keep homeowners in their homes, today
announced that it expects to double the number of foreclosures
prevented in 2009 by enhancing and expanding its very successful
HOPE NOW's success is evident from the total 2008 results it can
now project based on the actual 11-month data it is reporting:
• A projected total of approximately 2.2 million
• Almost 950,000 mortgage modifications.
• More than 20,000 homeowners helped at 29 workshops held
across the United States.
• More than one million total calls from homeowners to the
• An average of more than 7,000 calls per day to the Hope
Hotline that was available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and
365 days a year.
• 2.9 million letters sent to at-risk homeowners.
• An 18 percent response rate to the letters sent by HOPE
NOW to at-risk homeowners, six times more than the typical response
rate servicers receive when they send their own mailings.
In addition to these numerical achievements, in 2008 HOPE NOW
also accomplished two important procedural milestones that have
greatly expedited the foreclosure prevention process:
• In June, HOPE NOW members agreed to a set of guidelines
that, among other things, committed servicers to a much faster and
simplified foreclosure prevention process. The guidelines also
established the first-ever agreement for dealing with second liens,
which until then had been a major sticking point in the foreclosure
• In November, HOPE NOW worked with Fannie Mae, Freddie
Mac, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency to create the
Streamlined Modification Program (SMP), a much faster modification
approval process for the most at-risk homeowners that went into
effect Dec. 15.
"No one did more to prevent foreclosures in 2008 than HOPE NOW,"
said Faith Schwartz, HOPE NOWs executive director. "But, because
there's more to do, in 2009 HOPE NOW is going to substantially
expand its already successful efforts to make it even easier for
at-risk homeowners to avoid foreclosure."
HOPE NOW's 2009 plans include:
An expected doubling of the number of modifications from the
already high 2008 level. This will result an increased capacity of
servicers to handle modification requests, the streamlined
modification program, and the commitment by major institutions to
modify loans on purchased portfolios. Depending on unemployment and
other economic conditions, this could increase the number of
modifications to two million or more next year.
• At least 30 additional homeowner workshops
• At least a 50 percent increase in the number of
homeowners who attend workshops
• Additional innovative ways to provide counseling and
other assistance to homeowners such as phone-a-thons
• A major Web-based initiative that will supplement the
existing ability of homeowners to begin the foreclosure prevention
process through the Hope Hotline
• A very important and extremely visible enhancement to
HOPE NOWs existing efforts to reach at-risk homeowners that by
itself could double or triple the number of homeowners helped by
• Significantly enhanced loan-level data that will help
the industry further analyze trends and make necessary adjustments
to help prevent foreclosures and provide policymakers with
important additional information.
"HOPE NOW deserves a great deal of credit for the nearly 3
million foreclosures it will have prevented by the end of 2008,"
said Steve Bartlett, president and CEO of the Financial Services
Roundtable. "The weak U.S. economy will present additional problems
in 2009 and HOPE NOWs success this year will be the solid
foundation needed to meet those challenges," he said.
"The mortgage lending industry has shown enormous flexibility
and commitment in the face of this past year's constantly changing
economic outlook," said John Courson, chief operating officer of
the Mortgage Bankers Association. "The plans HOPE NOW has for 2009
demonstrate clearly that the whole mortgage lending industry will
continue to serve the needs of homeowners no matter what the
Colleen Hernandez, president and executive director of the
Homeownership Preservation Foundation, which owns and operates the
Hope Hotline, said that the 2008 results prove that phone
counseling of homeowners is extremely effective. "The Hope Hotline
was the only mortgage counseling service that was available to
homeowners this year whenever they wanted or needed to call," she
said. "That level and quality of service will be needed even more
November foreclosure prevention results
HOPE NOW also announced today that the mortgage industry prevented
208,000 foreclosures in November 2008 and a total of 651,000 in
September, October, and November. This is the highest three-month
total since HOPE NOW began to compile data in July 2007.
The November results, which are a slight change from the 225,000
foreclosure preventions completed in October, is the result of the
five fewer working days in that month. The number of foreclosure
preventions per day was greater in November than it was in
Approximately two million foreclosures have been prevented by
the mortgage lending industry in the first 11 months of 2008, 25%
more than the approximately 1.5 million prevented in all of 2007.
If the current trend continues, in 2008 the mortgage lending
industry will prevent approximately 2.2 million foreclosures, 45%
more than in 2007.
November was the third consecutive month that total
modifications exceeded 100,000. Since HOPE NOW began to compile
data, over one million modifications have been completed, including
a projected 950,000 in 2008.
Over the past three months, the number of modifications has
increased by almost 29 percent, while the number of payment plans
has increased by almost 6 percent. This increasing reliance on
modifications rather than payment plans is expected to continue as
economic conditions warrant.
The HOPE NOW November data also shows:
• For the first time, HOPE NOW members and the broader
mortgage lending industry prevented more than 200,000 foreclosures
in three consecutive months.
• Almost 30 percent of the homeowners with prime loans who
received workouts in November received modifications.
• Nearly 62 percent of the homeowners with subprime loans
who received workouts in November received modifications.
• The number of foreclosures started in November was 16,000
less than the number started in October.
• For the sixth month in a row, the number of foreclosure
starts for prime loans exceeded those for sub-prime.
A summary table of the results can be found by clicking here.
For more information, visit www.hopenow.com.