Mortgage Forbearance Rate Continues to Decline, Signaling ‘Robust’ Recovery

The number of mortgages in forbearance in the U.S. continues to decline, pointing to a sustained economic recovery after more than a year and a half of turmoil associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Forbearances “decreased by 26 basis points from 3.76 percent of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 3.50 percent,” the Mortgage Bankers Associated said on Monday as part of its weekly forbearance report.

All told, the MBA estimates 1.75 million homes in mortgage forbearance this week, with MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni stating that the week’s numbers represent “the largest weekly drop in the forbearance share since last October and the 20th consecutive week of declines.”

“The latest economic data regarding the job market and consumer spending continue to show a robust pace of economic recovery,” Fratantoni added, “which is supporting further improvements in the forbearance numbers as more homeowners are able to resume their payments.”

Forbearance loans decreased across the board with Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while “the share of other loans (e.g., portfolio and PLS loans) in forbearance” also dropped, according to the MBA.