Mortgage performance continued to improve for first-lien home loans and delinquency rates are still on the way down, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) Mortgage Metrics Report, Fourth Quarter 2016.

94.7% of mortgages were current and performing at the end of the quarter, an increase from 94.1% for the same time last year.

Foreclosure starts were on the way down as well. The OCC said mortgage servicers had started 45,495 new foreclosures in the fourth quarter 2016, down 5.1% from the previous quarter and a 28.2% decline from a year earlier.

There were 32,312 loan modifications made in the fourth quarter of 2016, down 9.3% from the previous quarter. More than 89 percent of the modifications reduced borrowers’ monthly payments, according to the OCC.

As mortgage performance continues to improve, the result is a natural decline in foreclosures and loss mitigation actions.

The OCC quarterly report covers 35% of all residential mortgages outstanding in the U.S. or approximately 19.8 million loans totaling $3.45 trillion in unpaid principal balances.

You can view the entire OCC Mortgage Metrics Report, Fourth Quarter 2016 at this link (PDF)

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