Servicers made 4,402 loan modifications in August on the nearly 31 million mortgages owned and guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said Tuesday.

They completed 18,693 loss-mitigation actions, the agency said, but delinquencies on mortgages held and guaranteed by the government-sponsored enterprises continued to grow. They reached 2.03% of total loans by the end of August — up from 1.43% in January.

The Finance Agency, which seized Fannie and Freddie in September, said the data showed that the GSEs needed to step up loan-modification efforts. The GSEs and the Finance Agency announced a joint initiative with Hope Now this month designed to speed modifications. "Progress is moving forward on loss mitigation, but much more needs to be done," said the FHFA's director, James Lockhart, in a press release.

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