The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reported that 95.8% of mortgages were current and performing at the end of the 2018 fourth quarter, an increase from 94.5% in the year-ago period.
The OCC collected data on first-lien residential mortgage loans serviced by Bank of America Corp., Citibank NA, HSBC Holdings PLC, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group Inc., U.S. Bank Trust NA and Wells Fargo & Co. These seven banks serviced mortgage loans with $3.22 trillion in unpaid principal balances, which represents 31% of outstanding residential mortgage debt in the U.S.
Servicers initiated 29,515 new foreclosures in the fourth quarter of 2018, a 3.5% increase from the previous quarter and a 14.5% decrease from the year-ago period. Home forfeiture actions during the quarter were tallied at 14,520, a 20.9% decrease from the fourth quarter of 2017.
Servicers completed 20,256 loan modifications during the fourth quarter, a 21.2% decrease from 25,701 in the previous quarter. Of the loan modifications, 73.2% reduced the borrower's monthly payments.