The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 6 basis points from 4.96% of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 4.90% as of March 28, 2021. According to MBA’s estimate, 2.5 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.
“The share of loans in forbearance decreased for the fifth straight week, and new forbearance requests dropped to their lowest level since March 2020. The share of loans in forbearance also decreased for all three investor categories,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “More than 21 percent of borrowers in forbearance extensions have now exceeded the 12-month mark. Of those that exited forbearance in March, more than 21 percent received a modification, indicating that their income had declined and they could not afford their original mortgage payment.”
Fratantoni added, “March was a turning point for the economy, with hiring shifting into a higher gear and the unemployment rate continuing to decline. However, there are still more than 4.2 million people who have been actively looking for work for more than six months. Homeowners who are still facing hardships and need to extend their forbearance term should contact their servicer.”
This graph shows the percent of portfolio in forbearance by investor type over time. Most of the increase was in late March and early April, and has trended down since then.
The MBA notes: “Total weekly forbearance requests as a percent of servicing portfolio volume (#) decreased relative to the prior week: from 0.05% to 0.04%, the lowest level since the week ending March 15, 2020.”