Terry Goddard (D)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Legal Newsline)-Industry efforts to keep U.S. homeowners from lapsing into foreclosure have decreased, a report by state attorneys general and banking regulators said Monday.

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said the report shows that people facing foreclosure "are not on track to avoid losing their homes."

The State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group report found that for the period February through May that nearly 80 percent of seriously delinquent homeowners are not on track for any loan work-out or loss mitigation assistance to help them avoid foreclosure.

"Too many homeowners face foreclosure without receiving any meaningful assistance by their mortgage servicer," the report said, "a reality that is growing worse rather than better, as the number of delinquent loans, prime and subprime, increases."

The report -- Analysis of Subprime Mortgage Servicing Performance -- is based on data collected from subprime mortgage servicers.

"While some progress has been made in preventing foreclosures, the empirical evidence is profoundly disappointing," the report said.

The report's authors said that subprime mortgage servicers have not developed "effective approaches" to address the bulk of subprime loans which are in default before interest rate resets.

"Based on the rising number of delinquent prime loans and projected numbers of payment option ARM loans facing reset over the next two years, we fear that continued reactive approaches will lead to another wave of unnecessary and preventable foreclosures," the report said.

The State Foreclosure Working Group has representatives of the attorneys general of 11 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.

The panel also has representatives from banking departments in New York and North Carolina, as well as from the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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