According to Mortgage Bankers Association's latest estimates, 2.5 million U.S. homeowners are in forbearance plans in late March 2021.
The MBA's Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed this week that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 9 basis points from 5.05% of servicers' portfolio volume in the prior week to 4.96% as of March 21, 2021.
The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased to 2.77% - a 6-basis-point improvement. Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance decreased 20 basis points to 6.83%, while the forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) decreased by 1 basis point to 8.90%. The percentage of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers decreased 14 basis points to 5.23%, and the percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers declined 5 basis points to 5.10%.
"The share of loans in forbearance decreased for the fourth straight week, dropping below 5 percent for the first time in a year. New forbearance requests remained at their lowest level since last March, and the pace of exits increased," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. "More than 17 percent of borrowers in forbearance extensions have now exceeded the 12-month mark."
Fratantoni added, "Many homeowners need this support, even as there are increasing signs that the pace of economic activity is picking up as the vaccine rollout continues. Those who have an ongoing hardship due to the pandemic and want to extend their forbearance beyond the 12-month point need to contact their servicer. Servicers cannot automatically extend forbearance terms without the borrower's consent."