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Forbearance Rate Improvement Expected to Continue

It's Friday, which means Black Knight just released the results of its McDash Flash Forbearance Tracker, showing performance data for the past Tuesday-Tuesday.

Forbearance activity decreased again, albeit slightly, marking the eighth-straight week of improvement. Down approximately 1,000 since the previous week, the low improvement numbers are typical during mid-month due to renewals of plans and the fact that exits tend to happen at the end or start of months.

The reduction was more pronounced among Fannie and Freddie-backed (FHFA) loans, at -6,000, and Federal Housing Administration/Veterans Administration loans, down 5,000. That was offset last week by a 9,000 rise in forbearance activity for portfolio and privately securitized mortgages, Black Knight reported.

The analysts reported that the number of outstanding plans is down by 298,000 or 11.4% from the same time last month.

Altogether, as of April 20, 2.3 million or 4.4% of all mortgage holders are in COVID-19 related forbearance plans (FHFA 2.7%, FHA/VA 7.8%, and portfolio 4.8%).

Both inflow and outflow were muted this week, according to the research team at Black Knight, with fewer than 160,000, collective, extensions and removals, the lowest such number in two months.

Some 280,000 expirations still are slated for Arpil. That means we could yet see additional improvement later in the month and into May, according to the Black Knight crew.

"Then we have 435,000 May expirations before we jump back up to 890,000 in June," Black Knight's blogger wrote. "That will be the last big month for review activity before the first wave of plans reaches their 18-month final expirations." Barring another extension, that is.

President Joe Biden last February announced an extension of the moratorium on home foreclosures—previously set to expire March 31—through the end of June. That temporary moratorium blocks home foreclosures, allows delayed mortgage payments, and offers six months of additional mortgage forbearance for those who enroll by June 30.

Start activity continues to trend downward, say Black Knight's experts, and it is reasonable to expect another more moderate wave of removal activity in May, they add.


About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. Contact Christina at christina.hughesbabb@thefivestar.com.

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