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Forbearances Fall 5% After Slight Increase

Forbearances Fall 5% After Slight Increase

After last week’s slight increase, the latest data from Black Knight’s McDash Flash Forbearance Tracker shows that nationwide forbearance volumes have fallen by 152,000 (-5%) since last Tuesday, driven by October forbearance expiration activity. This was roughly what was expected for the first week of the month, though we will be on the lookout for further potential drops, given the remaining scheduled expirations. With some 161,000 active forbearance plans having expired at the end of October, additional extension and/or removal activity could be seen in coming days.

This decline was seen across all investor classes, with GSE forbearances falling by 57,000 (-5.2%), portfolio/PLS by 52,000 (-7.0%) and FHA/VA by 43,000 (-3.7%).
GSE forbearances continue to see the strongest rate of improvement with the number of forbearance plans now down 48% from their peak in late May, followed by portfolio/PLS forbearances which are down 44% from their peak. FHA/VA loans continue to see the slowest improvement with forbearance volumes down just 27% from their peak earlier in the year.

As of Nov. 3, there are 2.9 million active forbearance plans, representing some 5.4% of mortgage-holders, down from 5.7% last week and the lowest we’ve seen since mid-April during the onset of the pandemic. Together, they represent $584 billion in unpaid principal.

There were 87,000 starts over the past week, but 57% of these were repeat starts for borrowers who had previously been in forbearance, left their plans, and have since returned. These forbearance starts and restarts are worth watching, as we see them trending upward. It may well be that this is still due to the drop in early October, but given the rising trend, they warrant a close eye.

Each week, Black Knight compiles a report from its McDash Flash Forbearance Tracker, which tracks forbearance volumes and related data, and posts a summary here on this blog.