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The Mortgage Bankers Association's Forbearance and Call Volume Survey reported that the total number of loans that are now in forbearance increased to 5.54% from 5.48% the previous week. The MBA estimates that there are 2.8 million homeowners who are currently in forbearance plans.
"For the second week in a row, the share of loans in forbearance has increased, driven by a rise in new forbearance requests and another slowdown in the pace of forbearance exits. The increase was across all loan and servicer types. Even GSE loans, which had previously declined for 24 straight weeks, saw an increase last week," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's senior vice president and chief economist. "Additionally concerning, there was an increase in forbearance re-entries, as borrowers who had previously exited sought relief again. The increase in new forbearance requests may be the result of additional outreach to homeowners who had previously not taken advantage of forbearance opportunities. However, the slowing rate of exits to a new survey low further highlights that borrowers still in forbearance are increasingly challenged by the renewed restrictions on economic activity to contain the surge in COVID-19 cases."
According to the MBA, the share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance increased for the first time in 25 weeks to 3.36%. Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance increased to 7.38%, private-label securities increased to 8.63%, the percentage of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank servicers increased to 6.03% and the percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers increased to 5.47%.
"Recent housing market data remain quite strong and we expect that the market is well-positioned for additional growth next year, but these data show that additional support is likely needed to get through this winter," added Fratantoni.