Loan modifications by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose 76% from the third quarter the fourth, said the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The agency said Tuesday modifications totaled 23,777 during the fourth quarter, and it argued that the number demonstrates how the government-sponsored enterprises are curbing the financial crisis. "These data reflect that the post-conservatorship programs [we]re starting to work to prevent foreclosures, even before the implementation of the streamlined modification program in January," FHFA Director James Lockhart said in the release.

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