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Black Knight: Forbearances Now Account For $1 Trillion-Plus In Unpaid Principal

Navi Persaud
May 22, 2020
Forbearance plan. Credit: iStock.com/Kameleon007

Data released by Black Knight reveals that COVID-19-related mortgage forbearances have hit the 4.75 million mark, despite nearly half of these borrowers making April mortgage payments. This marks a modest increase from last week's 4.7 million homeowners in forbearance. The report also show that 4.75 million loans in forbearance represent 9% of all active mortgages, and account for a little over $1 trillion in unpaid principal.
 
The rate of increase is actually down 93% compared to the first week of April, which saw a jump of 1.4 million forbearance plans in a single week. In addition, active forbearance volumes increased by 93,000, 70% lower than the 325,000 in the first week of May.
 
"Of the 4.25 million homeowners who were in active forbearance as of the end of April, nearly half –46%–still made their April mortgage payment," said Black Knight CEO Anthony Jabbour. "The fact that only 54% of borrowers in forbearance actually missed their payments helps explain the disparity between April's delinquency and forbearance rates. However, just 21% of borrowers in forbearance have made their May payments, which could lead to another sharp increase in the national delinquency rate for May if those payments are not received before the end of the month." 
 
Black Knight estimates 7.1% of all GSE-backed loans and 12.6% of FHA/VA mortgages are now in forbearance as well. 
 
Earlier in the week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers in forbearance can apply for refinancing and new purchase mortgages once their loans are current, waiving a previous mandatory wait of 12 months. The latest action by the FHFA allows for faster access to record-low rates by the homebuying public.
Data released by Black Knight has revealed that COVID-19-related mortgage forbearances have now hit the 4.75 million mark

 
Published
May 22, 2020
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