As expected, the trend of mid-month forbearance increases continued this week. New data from our McDash Flash Forbearance Tracker shows that the number of active forbearance plans increased by 15,000 (0.6%), with portfolio-held and privately securitized mortgages accounting for the largest weekly increase at 12,000 (1.8%). FHA/VA forbearances saw an increase of 5,000 (0.4%), while the GSEs experienced some small improvement – they saw a decrease of 2,000 forbearance plans (-0.2%) this week.
Despite the weekly increases, the overall monthly rate of decline held steady at -2% month-over-month. This continues the trend of very slow but consistent improvement in the number of outstanding forbearance cases.
As of Feb. 16, 2.69 million (5.1% of) U.S. homeowners remain in forbearance. This is made up of 9.2% of FHA/VA mortgages, 3.2% of GSE mortgages and 5.1% of portfolio/privately securitized mortgages.
New plan starts hit a post-pandemic low this week, while just one of every 77 homeowners who entered the week in forbearance left their plans, one of the lowest removal rates seen yet.
Some 204,000 forbearance plans are scheduled to scheduled term expirations at the end of February, suggesting that any decline in forbearance volumes in the coming weeks is likely to be limited.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will have another weekly update next Friday, Feb. 26.