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Forbearance Numbers Rise Above 3 Million Once Again

Forbearance Numbers Rise Above 3 Million Once Again

In the past week, we saw the number of mortgages in active forbearance rise by 31,000 (a 1% increase). This increase was driven by limited extension and removal activity, along with an increase in forbearance starts. There were 50,000 forbearance removals this week, the lowest of any week during the recovery, while the 89,000 extensions were the fewest we’ve seen in nine weeks. We also saw about 33,000 new forbearance plans begin.

In total, forbearance plan starts are up 15% in October compared to the month prior, with the rise driven by borrowers reactivating previously expired plans. New forbearance activations are down 7% from September, while re-activations are up 50%. This is most likely in reaction to the large volume of plans than were removed early in the month.

As of Oct. 27, the number of active forbearances has ticked back up over 3 million again for the first time since early October, representing approximately 5.7% of all active mortgages, up from 5.6% from last week. Together, they represent $619 billion in unpaid principal.

Some 3.9% of all GSE-backed loans and 9.7% of all FHA/VA loans are currently in forbearance plans. Another 5.7% of loans in private label securities or banks’ portfolios are also in forbearance. Since last week, GSE forbearances have declined by 1,000, while FHA loans saw an increase of 14,000, with a jump of 18,000 among loans held in banks’ portfolios and private label securities.

Of the just over 3 million loans still in active forbearance, more than 80% have had their terms extended at some point since March.

With 365,000 forbearance plans still set to expire in October, we could see increased levels of extension and removal activity in the coming weeks, so be sure to continue to monitor this blog for future findings.