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Another Week of Strong Forbearance Improvement

Another Week of Strong Forbearance Improvement

After declining by 5% last week, the number of loans in active forbearance saw another week of strong improvement.

According to the latest weekly snapshot of Black Knight’s McDash Flash daily forbearance tracking data, active forbearance plans fell by 121,000 (-4%) over the last week. Overall, that puts forbearance volumes down 9% (-416,000) since the start of November.

The decline was seen across investor classes and was largely due to the bulk of remaining October expirations being addressed over the past seven days, with some 191,000 homeowners removed from forbearance plans since last week.

Forbearance starts pulled back, with the week’s 68,000 starts marking the lowest weekly total since the first week of October. New forbearance starts (excluding restarts) hit a COVID-era low of just 31,000. Another 98,000 homeowners had their forbearance plans extended this week.

There have been positive signs so far in November, but with 323,000 active forbearances having recently expired or set to expire in the month, improvement may be somewhat limited in the coming weeks.

As of November 10, there are now 2.74 million homeowners in active forbearance plans, representing approximately 5.2% of all active mortgages, down from 5.4% from last week. Together, they represent $559 billion in unpaid principal.

Some 3.5% of all GSE-backed loans and 9.1% of all FHA/VA loans are currently in forbearance plans. Another 5% of loans in private label securities or banks’ portfolios are also in forbearance.

Since last week, portfolio/PLS loans saw the largest weekly decline at -49,000 (-7.1%), while GSE forbearances fell by 45,000 (-4.3%), and FHA/VA loans saw a more modest decline of -27,000 (-2.4%).

Of the 2.74 million loans still in active forbearance, 81% have had their terms extended at some point since March.

With COVID-19 cases rising across the country, it will be important to keep an eye on unemployment numbers and forbearance starts over the coming weeks. Black Knight will continue to monitor the situation and report our findings on this blog.