The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 3 basis points from 5.23% of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 5.20% as of Feb. 28, 2021. According to MBA’s estimate, 2.6 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.
The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased to 2.94%—a 3-basis-point improvement. Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance decreased 7 basis points to 7.28%, while the forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) increased by 2 basis points to 9.05%. The percentage of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers decreased 6 basis points to 5.51%, and the percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers decreased 1 basis point to 5.28%.
“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% 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.”
Fratantoni added, “Job growth picked up sharply in February and the unemployment rate decreased, but there are still almost 10 million people unemployed, with 4.1 million among the long-term unemployed—up 125,000 from January. The passage of the American Rescue Plan provides needed support for homeowners who are continuing to struggle during these challenging times.”