Forbearance rate drops again, to 5.29%

The share of loans in forbearance declined to the lowest level since April 5, 2020

The total number of mortgages in forbearance declined six basis points to 5.29% in the week ending Feb. 7, according to the latest estimate from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The trade group said 2.6 million homeowners are currently in forbearance plans.

“The share of loans in forbearance declined to the lowest level since April 5th of last year, due to decreases in both the GSE and Ginnie Mae portfolios,” said MBA Vice President and Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni.

According to the MBA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased six basis points to 3.01%. Ginnie Mae loans decreased 12 basis points to 7.34%, while the share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) remained unchanged relative from the prior week, at 9.14%.

The percentage of loans in forbearance for nonbank servicers decreased 4 basis points to 5.69%, while the percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers decreased 10 basis points to 5.26%.

From forbearance to post-forbearance: How to make the process effective

To accommodate the large volume of loans still in forbearance, mortgage servicers must have functional, flexible and effective forbearance processes in place. Here are some actionable steps to create that process.

Presented by: FICS

“Similar to the trend in recent months, the first week of February
showed a faster pace of exits from forbearance compared to recent weeks, while new forbearance requests were unchanged,” Fratantoni said.

“MBA expects the rollout of the vaccines to boost economic growth through the course of the year, leading to a stronger job market and a greater ability for more struggling homeowners to get back on their feet. We do believe that additional support is needed until they have regained their jobs and incomes.”

According to the MBA, 16.07% of total loans in forbearance are in the initial stage while 81.42% are in a forbearance extension. Just over 2.5% are forbearance re-entries.

The MBA’s survey found that of the cumulative exits between June 1, 2020, and Feb. 7, 28.2% of borrowers continued to make their monthly payments during the forbearance period. Of those exiting forbearance, 25.5% resulted in a loan deferral/partial claim, and 15.4% resulted in reinstatements, in which past-due amounts are paid back upon exit.

About 14% of exits represented borrowers who did not make all of their monthly payments and exited forbearance without a loss mitigation plan in place. The survey found that 7.7% of exits resulted in loan modifications, and 7.5% of exits resulted in loans paid off through either a refinance or by selling the home.

On the day that the MBA released its latest survey, the Biden administration extended forbearance and eviction moratoriums an additional three months, through June 30, 2021. Homeowners with FHA loans will now be able to receive up to six months of additional mortgage payment deferrals if they entered before June 30, 2020. The Biden administration’s FHA also gave homeowners more time to request a pause or reduction in mortgage payments through the CARES Act.

However, the measures made Tuesday don’t apply to borrowers with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Those borrowers can request forbearance for up to 15 months if they apply by the end of February.

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