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For First Time, Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Decreases in U.S.

For First Time, Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Decreases in U.S.


The latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association revealed this week that the total number of U.S. mortgage loans now in forbearance decreased - for the first time since the survey's inception in March 2020 - from 8.55% of servicers' portfolio volume in the prior week to 8.48% as of June 14, 2020. According to MBA's estimate, 4.2 million homeowners are now in forbearance plans - down from almost 4.3 million homeowners the prior week.

The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance dropped for the second week in a row to 6.31%, which is a 7-basis-point improvement. The forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) declined by 19 basis points to 9.99%. Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance held steady for the third week at a share of 11.83%. The percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers dropped to 9.15%, and the percentage of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers decreased to 8.40%.

"The lower share of loans in forbearance was led by declines in GSE and portfolio and PLS loans, as more of those borrowers exited than entered a new forbearance plan," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. "Fewer homeowners in forbearance underscores the continued improvements in the job market, and provides another sign of the fundamental health of the housing market, which has rebounded considerably over the past several weeks."

Added Fratantoni, "The big unknown with respect to this positive development is the extent to which it relies upon policy measures put in place to help families through this crisis, particularly the stimulus payments and enhanced unemployment insurance benefits that were key parts of the CARES Act. We expect to see further improvements in the weeks ahead given the drop in forbearance requests this week."

Key findings of MBA's Forbearance Survey (June 8 to June 14, 2020)

  • Total loans in forbearance decreased by 7 basis points relative to the prior week: from 8.55% to 8.48%.
  • By investor type, the share of Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance remained flat relative to the prior two weeks at 11.83%.
  • The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased relative to the prior week: from 6.38% to 6.31%.
  • The share of other loans (e.g., portfolio and PLS loans) in forbearance decreased relative to the prior week: from 10.18% to 9.99%.
  • Forbearance requests as a percent of servicing portfolio volume (#) decreased across all investor types: from 0.19% to 0.15%.
  • Weekly servicer call center volume:
  • As a percent of servicing portfolio volume (#), calls decreased from 8.0% to 7.7%.
  • Average speed to answer decreased relative to the prior week from 1.8 minutes to 1.5 minutes.
  • Abandonment rates decreased from 6.0% to 4.6%.
  • Average call length was unchanged at 7.1 minutes.
  • Loans in forbearance as a share of servicing portfolio volume (#) as of June 14, 2020:
  • Total: 8.48% (previous week: 8.55%)
  • IMBs: 8.40% (previous week: 8.43%)
  • Depositories: 9.15% (previous week: 9.24%)

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