We continue to see great improvements in forbearance plan numbers, with this week showing the largest weekly decline in six months. The number of outstanding forbearances fell by 228,000 (-9.0%), largely driven by early forbearance entrants exiting their plans at or around the 12-month mark.
Significant improvements were seen across investor classes, with decline of 94,000 in FHA/VA plans, a 69,000 decline in GSE forbearances and portfolio/PLS plan volumes declining by 65,000 this week alone. Overall, an estimated 280,000 borrowers exited forbearance this week, representing more than half of all loans being reviewed for extension and removal.
Forbearance plan starts also continue to improve, with an estimated 158,000 such starts (including re-starts) over the past four weeks, down 18 percent from the preceding four-week period. All in, some 2.3 million borrowers remain in forbearance as of April 6, representing 4.4% of all outstanding first-lien mortgage holders.
With an estimated 500,000 additional forbearance plans with scheduled expirations at the end of April, we could see additional improvements near the end of this month and into early May. We’ll keep an eye on the numbers and have another report on Friday, April 16.