Lenders initiated an estimated 290,000 foreclosure proceedings in the third quarter, reports mortgage industry alliance HOPE NOW. The number is down more than 10 percent from 323,000 foreclosure starts in the previous three-month period and down about 42 percent from 499,000 in the 2012 third quarter.
Some 181,000 borrowers were granted permanent loan modifications from July through September -- 136,000 of them through proprietary initiatives and 45,136 of them through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). According to HOPE NOW, the third-quarter workout figures bring the total number of permanent loan modifications since 2007 to more than 6.71 million. The alliance also said that short sales fell 17 percent from the second quarter and 39 percent from a year earlier, to 67,000; and completed foreclosure sales rose 6 percent to 167,000 in the third quarter from 158,000 in the second.