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The Week Ahead: The Evolution of Forbearance

Early next week, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release its latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey [1].

Early October brought with it what was expected, a rapid decline in the number of U.S. households exiting their forbearance plans, as their 18-month forbearance terms came to an end.

The MBA estimates that approximately 1.1 million homeowners remain [2] in forbearance plans, representing 2.21% of overall servicers' portfolio volume.

"The composition of loans in forbearance is evolving,” noted Mike Fratantoni [3], MBA's SVP and Chief Economist while commenting on last week’s report. “More than 25% of loans in forbearance are now made up of new forbearance requests and re-entries, while many other homeowners who have reached the end of 18-month terms are successfully exiting into deferrals or modifications."

Americans who are currently in a state of forbearance may be headed quicker toward exits, as the positive signs were reported this week from the U.S. Department of Labor. For the week ending October 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 281,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised level, marking the lowest level of initial claims since March 14, 2020 when 256,000 claims were reported.

Reuters recently reported [4] that even though nearly 80% of homeowners who had forbearance programs during the pandemic have since exited. The same report notes that the remaining 20% tend to live in areas where individuals have lower credit scores and incomes.

We shall see come Monday when the MBA releases its latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey [1].

Here's what else is happening in The Week Ahead: