According to a report just released by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision, delinquency rates on the least-risky mortgages more than doubled in the first quarter from a year earlier as U.S. efforts to help homeowners failed to keep pace with job losses that pushed more borrowers toward foreclosure.
Prime mortgages 60 days or more past due climbed to 2.9 percent of such loans through March 31 from 1.1 percent at the same point in 2008. First-time foreclosure filings on the loans rose 22 percent from the fourth quarter.
Obama’s program, unveiled Feb. 18, aims to help as many as 4 million homeowners by modifying loans and calls for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to refinance mortgages for as many as 5 million borrowers who owe more than their houses are worth. Foreclosure filings surpassed 300,000 for a third straight month in May, according to RealtyTrac Inc., and the U.S. economy has shed about 6 million jobs since the recession began in 2007.
Serious delinquencies on prime loans, which account for two-thirds of all U.S. mortgages, rose to 661,914 in the first quarter from 250,986 a year earlier. Overall, mortgages 60 days or more past due rose 88 percent from last year.
Mortgages modified to help struggling borrowers stay in their homes fail within nine months more than half the time. About 53 percent of mortgages modified in the first quarter of 2008 were 30 or more days delinquent after six months; 63 percent were in default after a year.
About two-thirds of mortgage modifications by servicers used two or more techniques to make loan payments more sustainable. About 70 percent of the workouts added missed payments and penalties to the outstanding balance. About 63 percent involved interest-rate reductions and about 25 percent extended the life of the loan.
About 14 percent of loans modified were initiated by Washington-based Fannie Mae and McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac. Private investors accounted for 55 percent, while loans held by national banks made up 31 percent, according to the data, which includes residential mortgages serviced by national banks and federally regulated thrifts.
The data shows 5.9 percent of the 21.8 million Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans serviced by national banks or thrifts were at least days 30 days late, in foreclosure or subject to bankruptcy, compared with 3.2 percent a year earlier.
The report covers the performance of 34 million loans totaling $6 trillion, the agencies said.