Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Declines in U.S. to 6.87 Percent

The Mortgage Bankers Association is reporting in their most recent Forbearance and Call Volume Survey that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 6 basis points from 6.93% of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 6.87% as of September 20, 2020. According to MBA’s estimate, 3.4 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.

The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance dropped for the 16th week in a row to 4.46% – a 9-basis-point improvement. Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance remained flat compared to the previous week at 9.15%, and the forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) also remained flat, at 10.52%. The percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers decreased 7 basis points to 7.11%, and the percentage of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers decreased 3 basis points to 7.23%.

“The share of loans in forbearance continues to decline and is now at a level not seen since mid-April. Many homeowners with GSE loans are exiting forbearance into a deferral plan and resuming their original mortgage payment, but waiting to pay the forborne amount until the end of the loan,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “However, the overall picture is still somewhat of a mixed bag. The recent uptick in forbearance requests, particularly for those with FHA or VA loans, is leaving the Ginnie Mae share elevated, as the pace of new requests meets or exceeds the pace of exits.”

Added Fratantoni, “The continued churn in the job market is likely keeping many homeowners who have been in forbearance reluctant to exit, given the level of economic uncertainty.”

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