The Mortgage Bankers Association's latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased from 5.54% of servicers' portfolio volume in the prior week to 5.48% as of December 6, 2020. MBA's estimate, 2.7 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.
The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased to 3.26 percent - an 8-basis point improvement. Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance decreased 21 basis points to 7.68%, while the forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) increased by 19 basis points to 8.89%. The percentage of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers decreased 4 basis points from the previous week to 5.98%, and the percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers decreased 10 basis points from the previous week to 5.38%.
"The share of loans in forbearance decreased in the first week of December. However, more borrowers sought relief, with new forbearance requests reaching their highest level since the week ending August 2, and servicer call volume hitting its highest level since the week ending April 19," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. "Compared to the last two months, more homeowners exiting forbearance are using a modification - a sign that they have not been able to fully get back on their feet, even if they are working again." Added Fratantoni, "The latest economic data is showing a slowdown, particularly an increase in layoffs and long-term unemployment. Coupled with the latest surge in COVID-19 cases, it is not surprising to see more homeowners seeking relief."