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MBA Reports Forbearance Rate Jumps To 5.9%

Keith Griffin
Apr 20, 2020
Forbearance agreement | iStock Photo by designer491

The latest figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows total loans in forbearance has risen to 5.95%. That’s up from the previous week when the number stood at 3.74%, according to the group’s latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey.
Mortgages backed by Ginnie Mae showed the largest growth (2.37%) from the prior week and the largest overall share in forbearance by investor type at 8.26%. Depository servicers–at 6.57%–surpassed independent mortgage bank servicers (5.69%) for the highest share of loans in forbearance. Meanwhile, the share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance increased relative to the prior week, from 2.44% to 4.64%. 
“With over 22 million Americans filing for unemployment over the past month, homeowners are contacting their mortgage servicers seeking relief, leading to a sharp increase in the share of loans in forbearance across all loan types,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s senior vice president and chief economist. “Mortgage servicers continue to receive a very high level of forbearance requests, but volumes were down somewhat compared to the prior week.”
The survey covered the week of April 6-12.
“Given that lockdowns and associated job losses will continue in the coming weeks, forbearance inquiries will likely rise again as we approach May payment due dates. Borrowers facing COVID-19-related hardships should contact their servicer to review all of their options,” Fratantoni added.
Forbearance requests as a percent of servicing portfolio volume (#) dropped relative to the prior week: from 2.43% to 1.79%.
In terms of weekly servicer call center volume, as a percentage of servicing portfolio volume, calls dropped from 14.4% to 8.8%, while hold times decreased from 10.3 minutes to 4.9 minutes. Client abandonment rates declined from 17.0% to 9.7%, and the average call length rose from 7.5 minutes to 7.6 minutes.

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