After record fall of 18%, forbearances rose slightly last week

After plummeting 18% the week prior, the number of mortgages in active forbearance rose by 19,000 last week, according to a new report by Black Knight on Friday.

Though the raw number increased, the number of all mortgages in active forbearance remained at 5.6%, unchanged from the week prior.

Oct. 9 marked the first week forbearances fell below 3 million since April, and despite last week’s uptick, that record held steady after a reported 2.99 million homeowners remained in COVID-19-related forbearance plans.

Although portfolio-held and private labeled security loans led the record decline the week prior, those same loans took the lion’s share of last week’s increase – rising by nearly 8,000, the report said.

Forbearances rose by 8,000 for home loans in Ginnie Mae securities, primarily mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Agency and Veterans Administration. These securities continued to boast the largest share of loans in forbearance, up to 9.5% from 9.4%

GSE loans, those backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, took the remaining share of the increase with nearly 3,000 new loans in forbearance but remaining at 4% share overall.

Black Knight said despite the slight uptick, there is room for optimism as forbearance volumes are down 708,000 from the same time last month, representing a 19% month-over-month decline. Overall, volume is down nearly 1.76 million since the peak of forbearances at 4.76 million in late May.

In terms of remaining forbearance cases, 78% have had their terms extended.

According to an August report from Black Knight, of the 6.1 million homeowners who have been in COVID-19-related forbearance plans, roughly 41% — nearly two and half million, have exited forbearance. Of those, 1.8 million proved to be performing.

However, recent Urban Institute data revealed a whopping 400,000 mortgage borrowers fell “needlessly delinquent” despite many borrowers being fully eligible for forbearance.

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