WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two major U.S. mortgage-finance companies, had prevented nearly 2 million foreclosures since the start of conservatorship in 2008, said a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
The two mortgage giants' completed foreclosure prevention activity increased slightly in the third quarter, pushing the total foreclosure prevention actions up to nearly 2 million since they were under conservatorship by the federal government, according to FHFA's Foreclosure Prevention and Refinance Report.
During this period, about 1.7 million of these actions have allowed borrowers to retain homeownership, with more than one million being permanent loan modifications, said the report.
The FHFA, regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said that the improvement of completed foreclosure prevention activity in the third quarter was driven primarily by loan modifications and repayment plans. Two-thirds of all borrowers who received loan modifications in the quarter had their monthly payments reduced by over 20 percent, the agency added.
In addition, the cumulative refinancings through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) increased 11 percent during the third quarter to nearly 928,600 loans, according to the report.
While serious delinquency rates continued to decline, the percentage of loans that have missed one payment increased during the quarter, noted the FHFA.
Fannie and Freddie have survived on Treasury aid since September 2008, when they were put under conservatorship by the federal government after suffering from the collapse of the subprime mortgage market.
The two mortgage giants own or guarantee about half of all mortgages in the U.S., or nearly 31 million home loans. Along with other federal agencies, they provide more than 5.7 trillion dollars in funding for the U.S. mortgage market, nearly 90 percent of new mortgages over the past year.
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