U.S. Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Declines to 5.2 Percent in Mid-February

U.S. Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Declines to 5.2 Percent in Mid-February

Residential News » Washington D.C. Edition | By WPJ Staff | February 24, 2021 8:35 AM ET

The Mortgage Bankers Association's latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed this week that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 7 basis points from 5.29% of servicers' portfolio volume in the prior week to 5.22% as of February 14, 2021.

The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased to 2.97% - a 4-basis-point improvement. Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance decreased 2 basis points to 7.32%, while the forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) decreased by 20 basis points to 8.94%. The percentage of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers decreased 15 basis points to 5.54%, and the percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers increased 2 basis points to 5.28%.

"The share of loans in forbearance has declined for three weeks in a row, with portfolio and PLS loans decreasing the most this week. This decline was due to a sharp increase in borrower exits, particularly for IMB servicers," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. "Requests for new forbearances dropped to 6 basis points, matching a survey low."

Fratantoni added, "The housing market is quite strong, with home sales, home construction, and home price data all testifying to this strength. Policymakers and the mortgage industry have helped enable this during the pandemic by providing millions of homeowners support in the form of forbearance. The decision to extend the allowable duration of forbearance plans should provide for a smoother transition this year as the job market continues to recover."

The MBA estimates there are 2.6 million homeowners are in forbearance plans as of February 2021.

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