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The Latest in Mortgage Forbearance Data

The quantity of forbearances declined by 1,000 over the past week, according to new data from Black Knight Inc.’s McDash Flash Forbearance Tracker.

As of August 25, 3.9 million homeowners were in active forbearance, or 7.4% of all active mortgages, representing $828 billion in unpaid principal. This level is unchanged from the prior week. Black Knight reported that 5.3% of all GSE-backed loans, 11.6% of all FHA/VA loans, and 8.1% of loans in private label securities or banks’ portfolios are also in forbearance.

Of the homeowners in forbearance, 72% had their terms extended. While 23,000 fewer GSE mortgages had an extension during this period, there was a 10,000 increase in FHA forbearances and a 12,000 increase among portfolio/PLS held loans, respectively.

Over the past 30 days, Black Knight reported active forbearances have declined by 171,000 (-4%), with the greatest decrease among GSE loans (-128,000, -8%), followed by FHA/VA loans (-23,000, -2%) and private/portfolio loans (-20,000, -2%).

Black Knight’s data follows last week's announcement by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend buying qualified loans in forbearance and several loan origination flexibilities until September 30. The original expiration date was set for August 31.

The extended flexibilities also include offering alternative appraisals on purchase and rate term refinance loans, alternative methods for documenting income and verifying employment before loan closing, and expanding the use of power of attorney to assist with loan closings.

“Extending these COVID-19 flexibilities helps keep the mortgage market moving and borrowers safe during the pandemic," said FHFA Director Mark Calabria.

The FHFA also joined with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to extend their respective foreclosure moratoria to all GSE-backed mortgages and FHA-backed mortgages through at least December 31. The previous moratoria were set to expire on August 31. The FHFA’s moratorium only applies to GSE-backed, single-family mortgages.

About Author: Phil Hall

Phil Hall is a former United Nations-based reporter for Fairchild Broadcast News, the author of nine books, the host of the award-winning SoundCloud podcast "The Online Movie Show," co-host of the award-winning WAPJ-FM talk show "Nutmeg Chatter" and a writer with credits in The New York Times, New York Daily News, Hartford Courant, Wired, The Hill's Congress Blog and Profit Confidential. His real estate finance writing has been published in the ABA Banking Journal, Secondary Marketing Executive, Servicing Management, MortgageOrb, Progress in Lending, National Mortgage Professional, Mortgage Professional America, Canadian Mortgage Professional, Mortgage Professional News, Mortgage Broker News and HousingWire.
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