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“Echo wave” of forbearance expirations

“Echo wave” of forbearance expirations

The latest data from the McDash Flash Forbearance Tracker shows that, improving upon last week’s decline, the number of active forbearance plans fell by 101,000 from the week prior, driven in part by the estimated 500,000 plans that were set to expire at the end of July entering the last week of the month.

More than two-thirds of loans that remain in active forbearance have had their plans extended. With the bulk of forbearance extensions being for an additional three months, an ‘echo wave’ of forbearance expirations has been generated.

For context, entering June, nearly 2.5 million plans were set to expire in that month. Given the typical 3-month extensions 2.2 million are now set to expire in September, meaning another wave of forbearance extensions and removals may very well be seen in late September/early October.   

Forbearances declined across all investor classes over the past week, with GSE loans falling the most both by volume (-56,000) and on a percentage basis (-4%). FHA/VA loans saw the first decline in four weeks, falling by 32,000 (-2%), while portfolio-held and private labeled security loans declined by a more modest 13,000 (-1%).

As of August 3, approximately 4 million homeowners were in active forbearance, the lowest such share since the last week in April and representing 7.5% of all active mortgages, down from 7.7% the week prior. Together, they represent $852 billion in unpaid principal.

Some 5.5% of all GSE-backed loans and 11.6% of all FHA/VA loans are currently in forbearance plans. Another 8.1% of loans in private label securities or banks’ portfolios are also in forbearance.

Spikes in COVID-19 around much of the country and the expiration of expanded unemployment benefits at the end of July both represent significant uncertainty for the weeks ahead. Black Knight will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates via this blog.