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Number of Active Forbearances Experiences a Spike

According to the daily loan-level data on the Black Knight blog, the numbers of mortgages in active forbearance increased for the first time in six weeks. Those totals increased by 21,000 week-over-week.

The spike was abetted mainly by a bounce among portfolio-held and private labeled security loans, up 28,000 for the week. Similarly, also inching up, by 2,000, were FHA/VA loans. That said, a 9,000 drop in GSE forbearances partially offset those gains.

A total of 3.6 million homeowners—or 6.8% of all active mortgages—remain in COVID-19 related forbearance plans as of September 29. There’s no change from last week. In all, that’s $751 billion in unpaid principal.

Meantime, as of now, active forbearance volumes have decelerated by 305K (-8%) in the course of the past month. Declining most significantly are GSE and Portfolio/Private loans, which have spiraled by 10%. More modest fall offs, at 4%, unfolded among FHA/VA loans.

A total of 3.6 million loans remain in active forbearance, among which, since last month, at some juncture, 75% have had their terms extended.

In June, reportedly, the latest data from the Black Knight McDash Flash Forbearance Tracker shows that the number of mortgages in active forbearance fell for the third week in a row. Overall, the number of active forbearance plans is down 57,000 from last week and 158,000 from the peak the week of May 22.

At these levels, mortgage servicers need to advance a combined $3.4 billion a month to holders of government-backed mortgage securities on COVID-19-related forbearances. That’s on top of the $1.4 billion in T&I payments they must make on behalf of borrowers.

Some 6.8% of all GSE-backed loans and 12.1% of all FHA/VA loans are currently in forbearance plans. Volumes were actually up 6,000 among non-agency loans for the week, while forbearance plans on government-backed loans were down a collective 62,000.

Additionally, according to the McDash Flash Payment Tracker, just 15% of those in forbearance had remitted their June payments as of June 15. That’s compared to 46% as of the end of April and 28% as of May month-end.

"To protect borrowers and renters during the pandemic we are extending the Enterprises' foreclosure and eviction moratorium. During this national health emergency no one should worry about losing their home," said Director Mark Calabria.

Black Knight reported that due to the "significant uncertainty" presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, its data analysts  will continue to monitor the situation and report findings on its blog.

About Author: Chuck Green

Chuck Green has contributed to the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune and others covering various industries, including real estate, business and banking, technology, and sports.
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