The Federal Housing Finance Agency released a report Tuesday that showed an increase early this year in the number of modifications of loans insured by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The monthly report, which covered the roughly 30 million government-sponsored enterprise mortgages, said loan modifications rose 3%, to 8,953, in January from a month earlier.

It said that foreclosure suspensions helped reduce the rate and that a larger share of loss-mitigation efforts in the month were loan modifications, not repayment plans, short sales or deeds-in-lieu.

The biggest share of homeowners in default, 34%, said they had had a "curtailment of income"; 19% said they had "excessive obligations"; and 8% said they had lost their jobs.

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