WASHINGTON — Loan modification activity has fallen dramatically at national banks over the past year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The seven largest national banks completed 35,642 loan modifications in the third quarter of 2016, down from 147,542 in the same quarter in 2015, the Mortgage Metrics report said.

Meanwhile, the percentage of seriously delinquent loans (those 90 days or more past due) had fallen to 2.2% at Sept. 30 from 2.6% a year earlier.

"The overall performance of mortgages … continues to improve from a year earlier," the OCC said.

The OCC report culls data from Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, PNC, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. Mortgage data from OneWest, Pasadena, Calif., which was acquired by the CIT Group last year, was also included in OCC data through the fourth quarter of 2015.

The OCC said the seven banks initiated 47,955 new foreclosures in the third quarter, a 25.3% decrease from a year earlier.

The seven banks' servicing portfolios, meanwhile, have been shrinking over the past two years due to the runoff of subprime, alternative-A and other nonprime loans.

Overall, the servicing portfolios totaled $3.5 trillion in the third quarter, down from nearly $4 trillion in the third quarter of 2014.

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