Forbearance Plans Up In Typical Mid-Month Pattern

After dropping to a post-pandemic low, forbearance rose by 8,000 last week (1%), according to Black Knight’s blog, Vision.

Forborne loans held by portfolios and PSLs drove the week with an increase of 9,000 (3.9%). It was slightly offset by FHA/VA loans in forbearance falling by 1,000 (-0.3%). GSE plans remained unchanged.

Black Knight calls this a “familiar pattern,” in which the middle of the month brings an uptick in plans. They’ll even out next week. Notably, both new plan starts and restarts fell, with starts hitting their lowest weekly total since Thanksgiving.

Plan volume is down 41,000 (-5%) month-over-month.

The increase this week comes on the heels of a major drop in plans last week, so rates remain historically low.

But research suggests those who are still in forbearance plans are the most vulnerable.

“The borrowers in the subprime credit score buckets are much, much more likely to have both entered forbearance, and still be in forbearance at this point,” Joelle Scally, a financial and economic analyst with the New York Fed, told CNBC.

Some 130,000 plans are up for review in April, the next time Black Knight expects to see significant improvement. One-third should expire. 

The total number of mortgage holders in Covid-19 related forbearance is now 726,000, or 1.4% of all mortgages. More than 90% of single-family homeowners who entered Covid-related forbearance have now exited their plans.

  • Share of FHA/VA loans in forbearance: 2.2% (unchanged)
  • Share of GSE loans: 0.8% (unchanged)
  • Share of Portfolio-held and PSL: 1.8% (unchanged)