Forbearance Totals Hit 4.1 Million Mark
May 18, 2020
The total number of loans now in forbearance increased week-over-week from 7.91% to 8.16% as of May 10, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey. It says an estimated 4.1 million homeowners are now in forbearance plans. This 25 basis point weekly increase was the smallest increase reported since the week of March 16.
Late last week, another data set tracking nationwide forbearance totals, Black Knight’s McDash Flash Forbearance Tracker, reported that approximately 4.7 million homeowners were in forbearance programs with their servicers, representing 8.8% of the entire active mortgage universe.
Mortgages backed by Ginnie Mae led the way again with the largest overall share of loans in forbearance by investor type at 11.26%, up from last week’s 10.96%. The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance increased to 6.25% this week, up 0.17% from the week prior.
“The pace of forbearance requests continued to slow in the second week of May, but the share of loans in forbearance increased,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s senior vice president and chief economist. “There has been a pronounced flattening in loans put into forbearance–despite April’s uniformly negative economic data, remarkably high unemployment, and it now being past May payment due dates. However, FHA and VA borrowers are more likely to be employed in the sectors hardest hit in this crisis, which is why more than 11 percent of Ginnie Mae loans are currently in forbearance.”
The number of loans in forbearance for depository servicers rose to 8.99%, up from the previous week’s total of 8.75%, while the share of independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers with loans in forbearance rose to 7.85%, up from 7.54% last week.
Weekly servicer call center volume dropped back down this week, as a percent of servicing portfolio volume calls decreased from 8.6% to 7.8%. The average speed to answer decreased relative to the prior week, from 2.6 minutes to two minutes, while the average call length decreased from last week, from 7.4 minutes to 6.7 minutes.
“We will continue to closely monitor the forbearance request and call volume data for any sign of an uptick, but current trends suggest that if the economy continues to gradually reopen, the situation could be stabilizing,” said Fratantoni.
MBA’s latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey covers the period from May 4 through May 10, and represents almost 77% of the first-mortgage servicing market (38.3 million loans).
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