Forbearance Exits Drop Below 2%

The number of loans in forbearance dropped below 2% for the first time since early in the pandemic, according to Black Knight’s blog, Vision.

November brought a surge of forbearance exits, with the number of loans in active forbearance falling by over 100,000 week-over-week, 10.8%. Bank portfolio and PLS loans had the strongest results, down by 15.9% or 59,000. FHA/VA plans saw a decrease of 11.3% (48,000) and GSE loans by 4.8% (16,000).

Almost 300,000 borrowers left their plans over the last two weeks. Of all active mortgages, forborne loans now account for 1.9%, including 1.2% of GSE, 3.1% of FHA/VA, and 2.4% of portfolio/PLS loans.

November’s numbers so far mimic October’s, which also saw a huge jump in exits in the first two weeks of the month. But this month is beginning lighter: 300,000 exits in the first two weeks doesn’t hold a candle to October’s 455,000.

It’s uncertain whether November will suffer the same mid-month slowdown as October. More than 250,000 plans are still listed with October/November reviews for either extension or removal, and half are expected to be final expirations. Should those numbers hold, Black Knight expects to see steady improvement for the rest of the month, not another October rollercoaster.

Forbearance plan starts also declined for another week, making it one of the lowest weeks for new entries since the pandemic began.

The total number of mortgage holders in Covid-19 related forbearance is now 1.01 million.