Share of Mortgages in Forbearance Holding Steady

After increasing the previous two weeks, the share of mortgages in COVID-19-related forbearance plans held steady during the week ended November 29, at 5.54%, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Forbearance and Call Volume Survey.

“After two weeks of increases, the share of loans in forbearance was unchanged for the week that included Thanksgiving,” says Mike Fratantoni, senior vice president and chief economist for the MBA, in the report. “A small decline in forbearances for GSE loans was offset by increases for Ginnie Mae and portfolio loans.”

“While new forbearance requests declined for the week, exits slowed to a new low for the series,” Fratantoni adds.

Roughly 2.8 million homeowners are in forbearance plans, the MBA estimates.

The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased slightly to 3.34%, while the share a two-basis-point improvement.

Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance increased six basis points to 7.89%, and the forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) increased by seven basis points to 8.70%.

The percentage of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers decreased one basis point from the previous week to 6.02%, and the percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers increased one basis point from the previous week to 5.48%.

“The job market data for November showed an economic recovery that was slowing in response to the latest surge in COVID-19 cases,” Fratantoni says. “It is not surprising to see the rate of forbearance exits slow, as households that needed forbearance assistance in October may be in even greater need now.”

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