Speaking of loan modifications

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, said that Fannie and Freddie modified the terms of nearly 24,000 loans during the fourth quarter of 2008. That was a 76% increase over the third quarter, according to James B. Lockhart, director of the agency.

The figures were contained in a quarterly report on foreclosure prevention by the agency.

The number of foreclosures during the quarter fell by nearly 27%. But he noted that various federal and state moratoriums on repossessing homes played a big role in that statistic. Those moratoriums are now expiring, causing foreclosures to shoot higher once again.

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