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Weekly Forbearance Volume Drops

Active forbearance plans rose for a second week, however the uptick has become a mid-month trend, say researchers at Black Knight who have been charting coronavirus-related mortgage forbearance plans on its McDash Flash [1] Daily Forbearance Tracker since the onset of the pandemic. Volumes have dropped month-over-month.

The tracker shows 1.76 million borrowers still in COVID-19 related forbearance plans as of last Tuesday.

An estimated 1.9% of loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are in forbearance plans, along with 5.8% of Federal Housing Administration- or VA-backed mortgages, and 4.1% of portfolio held or privately securitized mortgages.

From the previous Tuesday to last Tuesday, forbearances increased by a net 12,000 borrowers. Ten thousand of those were portfolio or PLS loans, and 3,000 were FHA/VA. GSE-backed loans in forbearance decreased by 1,000, reports Black Knight.

On a month-over-month basis, plan volumes have decreased by 132,000 or 7%.

According to Black Knight, more than 150,000 plans are slated for review for extension or removal through the final week of August, so there is still some opportunity for modest improvement yet this month.

That number ramps up to nearly 670,000 for September, though, with 415,000 of those plans set to reach their final expiration next month based on current allowable forbearance term lengths [2].

Note the authors of Black Knight's report, "How those exits manifest themselves will tell us a great deal about what we might expect for the remainder of 2021."

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been drafting and updating rules [3] for servicers facing an onslaught of inflowing forbearance plans, and now, exits in an effort to support what it calls "a smoother transition" within the housing market at large. The CFPB rules go into effect August 31.

Black Knight's weekly reports appear on the Black Knight blog [4].