Forbearance numbers fall as borrower exits remain high

Servicers’ forbearance portfolio volume fell once again last week, as exits remained elevated compared to requests or re-entries. The total number of loans in forbearance dropped by eight basis points to 3.00% as of Sept. 12, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).      

The most notable decline was in the portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) category, dipping by 32 basis points to 6.95%. 

Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance remained the same, at 3.39% of servicers‘ portfolio volume, after a decline of 24 bps in the prior week. Meanwhile, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans dropped by five basis points to 1.47%.

The share of independent mortgage bank loans in forbearance fell 8 basis points to 3.25%. For depository servicers, the percentage declined five basis points to 3.10%.

Per the MBA’s estimate, 1.5 million homeowners are still in active forbearance plans. The survey included data on 36.8 million loans serviced as of Sept. 12, 74% of the first-mortgage servicing market.

Mike Fratantoni, senior vice president and chief economist at the MBA, said in a statement that forbearance exits remained elevated last week, while new requests and re-entries were unchanged, representing 20% of loans in forbearance.

“At this point, borrowers in forbearance extensions are exiting at a faster rate as they near – or reach – the expiration of their maximum forbearance term.”

Total requests remained at 0.05% of servicing portfolio volume, while exits represented 0.16% of the total, the report said.

During the last 15 months, MBA’s data revealed that almost 29% of exits resulted in a loan deferral or partial claim. Also, around 22% represented borrowers who continued to pay during the forbearance period.

However, 16.4% were borrowers who did not make their monthly payments and did not have a loss mitigation plan.

The survey shows that 11.3% of total loans were in the initial stage last week, and 80.2% were in a forbearance extension. The remaining 8.5% were re-entries.

Servicer call volume decreased to 6.3%, down from 7.7% the week prior. The average call length was slightly prolonged, from 8.2 minutes to 8.3 minutes.