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2.6 Million Homeowners Are In Forbearance

The total number of forbearances shifted down by three basis points from 5.23% of servicers' portfolio volume in the prior week to 5.20% as of February 28, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey. 

 A total of 2.6 million homeowners are in forbearance plans, MBA’s estimate shows.  

Meantime, there was a drop to 2.94%—an uptick of 3-basis points—in the share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. Also tracking downward, Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance receded 7 basis points to 7.28%; conversely, forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) spiked by 2 basis points to 9.05%. On the other hand, the percentage of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers declined 6 basis points to 5.51%. Heading in the same direction, the percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers retreated 1 basis point to 5.28%.   

Among independent mortgage bank servicers, the percentage of loans in forbearance dipped 6 basis points to 5.51%, while there was a 1 basis point dip to 5.28% in the percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers.  

"There was a small decline in the total share of loans in forbearance in the last week of February, as the pace of forbearance exits increased. This continues the trend reported in prior months. Of those homeowners in forbearance, more than 12 percent were current at the end of February, down from the almost 14 percent at the end of January," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's senior vice president and chief economist. The improving economy, the soon-to-be passed stimulus package, and the many homeowners in forbearance reaching the 12-month mark of their plan could all influence the overall forbearance share in the coming months, he continued.  

Meanwhile, there was a jump in forbearance relative to the week before, from 9.03% to 9.05% in the share of other loans, including portfolio and PLS loans. 

The MBA reported that the total number of loans currently in forbearance decreased by seven basis points from 5.29% of servicers' portfolio volume in the prior week to 5.22% as of February 14, 2021.


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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