Forbearances Fell Below 700k For The First Time Since The Pandemic Began

Early April exits offset two weeks of rising forbearance starts and re-starts, resulting in plan volumes dropping below 700,000 for the first time since the pandemic began, according to Black Knight’s blog, Vision.

Overall, forbearances fell by 63,200 plans last week. GSE plans fell by 24,500 (-11%), followed by FHA/VA (-21,800, -8.1%) and loans held by portfolios and PSLs (-17,000, -16.7%).

New plan starts still rose slightly, up to 10,300 (+200). However, last week they dropped to their lowest level in four months, so the uptick may not be cause for concern.

Restarts also rose by 1,400 to 21,600.

Plan volume is down 66,200 (-8.8%) month-over-month. 

Forbearance volumes have ticked up some after long periods of decline, but are generally improving as the country recovers from the pandemic. The number of homeowners with existing loan workouts who were current on their payments rose in February for the first time since June 2021.

“We can credit several factors to the improved performance, including the availability of viable loss mitigation options, low unemployment that is now below 4 percent, strong wage growth, and rising home equity,” said Marina Walsh, CMB, MBA’s Vice President of Industry Analysis.

Some 170,000 plans are up for review in early May, 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 684,000, or 1.3% of all mortgages.

  • Share of FHA/VA loans in forbearance: 2% (-0.2%)
  • Share of GSE loans: 0.7% (-0.1%)
  • Share of Portfolio-held and PSL: 1.8% (-0.2%)