This week, forbearance volumes rose by 16k (+0.74%), which marks only the second increase over the past twelve weeks. The rise this week is attributed to typical mid-month behavior, which had been suppressed in recent months due to strong declines. The 1k (-0.1%) weekly decline in forbearances among GSE loans was more than offset by a 4k (+0.5%) increase among FHA/VA loans and a 13k (+2.2%) increase among portfolio held and privately securitized mortgages.
Plan starts were driven up this week thanks mostly to an increase in restart activity, which was expected for the middle of the month and amidst the large volume of removals we’ve seen in recent months. Removals also fell to their lowest level since February, driven by the low volume of review activity that took place this week.
Nearly 190k plans are still listed with May 2021 expirations, providing a moderate opportunity for additional improvements over the next two weeks and more acutely in early June. Another 830k plans are currently slated for review for extension or removal in June, the final quarterly review before early forbearance entrants begin to reach their 18-month plan expirations later this year.
As of May 18, 2.18 million (4.1% of) homeowners remain in COVID-19-related forbearance plans, including 2.4% of GSE loans, 7.3% of FHA/VA loans, and 4.7% of portfolio/PLS loans.