The country saw a modest decrease in the number of active forbearance plans this week, falling by just 1,000 but still marking the seventh consecutive week of improvement.
This mid-month lull in improvement was expected – they’ve become commonplace during the recovery, with the strongest rates of improvement seen early and late in the month as mortgages are reviewed for extension/removal from forbearance. With 380,000 loans still slated for these reviews by the end of this month, we could still see additional forbearance improvement in late April/early May.
Plan starts hit their highest level in three weeks, but this was primarily due to re-starts, as a portion of the nearly 500,000 homeowners who’d left forbearance in recent weeks likely reached out to their servicers to reinstate their plans. New plan starts remain near post-pandemic lows.
Despite the marginal improvement this week, the number of outstanding plans is still down by 296,000 (-11.4% month-over-month) marking considerable improvement in recent weeks. As of April 13, there are now 2.3 million homeowners in COVID-19-related forbearance plans, representing 4.4% of all mortgage-holders.
We’ll continue to monitor the situation, and will have another report published here next Friday, April 23.