The number of mortgages in forbearance amid the coronavirus pandemic keeps climbing.
The latest data released Monday by the Mortgage Bankers Association shows 6.99 percent of mortgage borrowers – or 3.5 million – were in forbearance as of April 19. That’s up from 5.95 percent a week earlier. On March 2, roughly 0.25 percent of loans were in forbearance.
MBA’s numbers are even higher than those released Friday by Black Knight, which estimated that 6.4 percent of all mortgages were in forbearance as of April 23.
“Forbearance requests fell relative to the prior week but remain roughly 100 times greater than the early March baseline,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist.” While the pace of job losses have slowed from the astronomical heights of just a few weeks ago, millions of people continue to file for unemployment. We expect forbearance requests will pick up again as we approach May payment due dates.”
The MBA survey found:
- 9.73 percent of Ginnie Mae loans were in forbearance.
- 7.87 percent of loans for depository servicers were in forbearance.
- 6.52 percent of independent mortgage bank loans were in forbearance.
- 5.46 percent of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans were in forbearance.
The $2 trillion CARES Act includes a moratorium on foreclosures and the right to forbearance on federally backed mortgages. Forbearance allows borrowers to put off payments for at least six months if they suffer economic hardship during the pandemic.
FHFA issued a statement Monday clarifying that borrowers who go into forbearance will not have to repay missed payments all at once if their mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
“During this national health emergency, no one should be worried about losing their home,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria said. “No lump sum is required at the end of a borrower’s forbearance plan for Enterprise-backed mortgages.”