Mortgages In Forbearance Rise Slightly

Mortgages In Forbearance Rise Slightly

June 1, 2020
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has released its Forbearance and Call Volume Survey, highlighting the widespread mortgage forbearance requests from borrowers impacted by COVID-19
This week’s Forbearance and Call Volume Survey (for the week ending May 24, 2020) from the Mortgage Bankers Association finds that the number of mortgages nationwide now in forbearance increased to 8.46%, up 0.10% over last week’s 8.36%. An estimated 4.2 million homeowners are currently in forbearance plans. The 10-basis point weekly increase was the smallest increase reported by the MBA since the week of March 9.
By investor type, the share of Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance increased to 11.82%, up over last week’s total of 11.60%, while the share of GSE loans in forbearance rose as well to 6.39%, up 0.03% over last week. The number of loans in forbearance for depository servicers rose to 9.19%, while the number of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers increased to 8.21%.
“MBA’s survey continues to indicate that fewer homeowners are seeking forbearance as more states across the country reopen their economies and prospects begin to improve. The share of loans in forbearance increased by only 10 basis points over the week of May 24th,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s senior vice president and chief economist, a slowdown that can be directly correlated to the recent decline in unemployment requests as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor. “Policy support for households, including expanded unemployment insurance benefits and other transfers, have helped many stay on their feet during this crisis. With 11.82 percent of Ginnie Mae loans currently in forbearance, FHA and VA borrowers are struggling the most.”
The report also found that weekly servicer call center volume decreased from 8.6% to 6.6%–the lowest total since the MBA began tracking forbearances the week of March 2. The average call length to a servicer center decreased from seven minutes to 6.7.
MBA’s latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey covers the period from May 18-May 24, 2020, and represents nearly 75% of the first-mortgage servicing market (37.6 million loans).