Number Of U.S. Mortgages In Forbearance Rises Slightly

Number Of U.S. Mortgages In Forbearance Rises Slightly

May 26, 2020
Photo credit: Getty Images/designer491
Data from the latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey report from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows that the number of loans in forbearance has risen to 8.36%, up 0.2% from last week. This percentage represents an estimated 4.2 million homeowners who are now in forbearance plans.
 
By investor type, the share of Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance increased relative to the prior week, from 11.26% to 11.60%, while the share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance increased relative to the prior week, from 6.25% to 6.36%.
 
“Although job losses continue at extremely high rates, mortgage servicers are reporting only modest increases in the share of loans in forbearance as of May 17,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s senior vice president and chief economist. “The decline in employment and income is hitting FHA and VA borrowers harder, leading to 11.6% of Ginnie Mae loans currently in forbearance.”
 
The number of loans in forbearance for depository servicers rose to 9.13%, while the number of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers increased to 8.11%.
 
Data released on Friday by Black Knight reveals that COVID-19-related mortgage forbearances now account for a little over $1 trillion in unpaid principal.
 
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, initial claims for unemployment insurance last week continue to trend downward, coming in at 2,438,000, a decrease of 249,000 from the previous week's revised level. However, the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 17.2 percent for the week ending May 9, an increase of 1.7 percentage points from the previous week's revised rate.
 
In terms of weekly servicer call center volume, as a percent of servicing portfolio volume, calls increased from 7.8% to 8.6%, with the average call length increasing from 6.7 minutes to 7.0 minutes.
 
Last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced that GSE borrowers in forbearance can apply for refinancing and new purchase mortgages once their loans are current. The move waives a previous mandatory wait of 12 months and allowing faster access to record-low rates.

 
Servicing

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