WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of U.S. bank regulators said on Wednesday.in process and delinquent mortgages rose during the second quarter, while home retention actions also increased,
Foreclosures jumped 16 percent to 2.9 percent of serviced mortgages, while home retention actions such as loan modifications rose 21.7 percent, the Office of Thrift Supervision said in a report.and the
"The mortgage data reported for the second quarter of 2009 continued to reflect
negative trends influenced by weakness in economic conditions, including high unemployment and declining home prices in weak housing markets," the report said.
The report covers mortgages serviced by most of the industry's largest mortgage servicers, whose loans make up about 64 percent of all mortgages outstanding in the United States.
The regulators said there was a lull in newly initiated foreclosures during the second quarter as mortgage servicers worked to implement the federal "Making Home Affordable" program.
The $50 billion program, launched in March, is designed to stabilize the housing market by helping up to 9 million Americans reduce their monthly mortgage payments to more affordable levels.
The OCC and OTS said the emphasis on the program contributed to a dramatic shift in the composition of home retention actions toward lowering payments. Previously, the vast majority of loan modifications either did not change or increased monthly payments.
The weak economy continued to drive up the number of delinquent mortgages. The number of mortgages delinquent 30 to 60 days jumped 10.9 percent during the second quarter to 3.2 percent of all mortgages covered by the report.
The number of mortgages that were more than 90 days delinquent increased 11.5 percent, rising to 5.3 percent of serviced mortgages.
Separately, thesaid on Wednesday that U.S. mortgage applications fell last week despite the lowest loan rates in four months, another sign that housing will likely recover slowly from its three-year plunge.
(Reporting by Karey Wutkowski, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and John Wallace)