According to Mortgage Bankers Association, 2.7 million U.S. homeowners are in mortgage forbearance plans as of December 27, 2020. The total number of loans now in forbearance remained unchanged relative to the prior week at 5.53%.
The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased to 3.24% - a 2-basis-point improvement. Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance increased 5 basis points to 7.92%, while the forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) decreased by 2 basis points to 8.87%.
The percentage of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers decreased 3 basis points from the previous week to 6.01%, and the percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers increased 1 basis point to 5.44%.
"The share of loans in forbearance remained relatively unchanged in the final two weeks of 2020, maintaining the trend of hovering around 5.5 percent for the last two months. However, the share for Ginnie Mae loans continues to inch up and is now at its highest level since the week of November 1st," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. "Forbearance requests and exits both slowed markedly, and servicer call volume dropped sharply over the holidays."
Fratantoni continued, "While the increasing number of COVID-19 cases continues to slow economic activity, the passed stimulus legislation should provide financial support for many households as the vaccine rollout commences."