After a slight uptick last week, active forbearance volumes plummeted over the past seven days, falling by 649K from the week prior. An 18% reduction in the number of active forbearances, this represents the largest single-week decline since the beginning of the pandemic and its related fallout in the U.S. housing market.
New data from Black Knight’s McDash Flash Forbearance Tracker shows that as the first wave of forbearances from April are hitting the end of their initial six-month term, the national forbearance rate has decreased to 5.6%. This figure is down from 6.8% last week, with active forbearances falling below 3 million for the first time since mid-April.
This decline noticeably outpaced the 435K weekly reduction we saw when the first wave of cases hit the three-month point back in July.
As of October 6, 2.97 million homeowners remain in COVID-19-related forbearance plans, representing $614 billion in unpaid principal.
The largest weekly declines were seen among forbearances on portfolio and PLS loans, which fell by nearly a quarter (-24%) from the week prior, for a 228K reduction. Both GSE and FHA/VA loans also saw strong declines, with 213K ( and 208K fewer active forbearances than last week, respectively.
Some 4% of all GSE-backed loans and 9.4% of all FHA/VA loans currently remain in forbearance plans, as do 5.6% of loans in private label securities or held in banks’ portfolios.
Though the market continues to adjust to historic and unprecedented conditions, these are clear signs of long-term improvement. We hope to see a continuation of the promising trend of forbearance reduction in the coming weeks, as an additional 800K forbearance plans are slated to reach the end of their initial six-month term in the next 30 days.
As the situation continues to develop, Black Knight will post future findings, insights and figures on this blog.