Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Declines to 5.22 Percent

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Adam DeSanctis
adesanctis@mba.org
(202) 557-2727

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 22, 2021) - The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 7 basis points from 5.29% of servicers' portfolio volume in the prior week to 5.22% as of February 14, 2021. According to MBA's estimate, 2.6 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.

The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased to 2.97% - a 4-basis-point improvement. Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance decreased 2 basis points to 7.32%, while the forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) decreased by 20 basis points to 8.94%. The percentage of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers decreased 15 basis points to 5.54%, and the percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers increased 2 basis points to 5.28%.  

"The share of loans in forbearance has declined for three weeks in a row, with portfolio and PLS loans decreasing the most this week. This decline was due to a sharp increase in borrower exits, particularly for IMB servicers," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. "Requests for new forbearances dropped to 6 basis points, matching a survey low."

Fratantoni added, "The housing market is quite strong, with home sales, home construction, and home price data all testifying to this strength. Policymakers and the mortgage industry have helped enable this during the pandemic by providing millions of homeowners support in the form of forbearance. The decision to extend the allowable duration of forbearance plans should provide for a smoother transition this year as the job market continues to recover."

Key findings of MBA's Forbearance and Call Volume Survey - February 8 to February 14, 2021

  • Total loans in forbearance decreased by 7 basis points relative to the prior week: from 5.29% to 5.22%.
    • By investor type, the share of Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance decreased relative to the prior week: from 7.34% to 7.32%.
    • The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased relative to the prior week: from 3.01% to 2.97%.
    • The share of other loans (e.g., portfolio and PLS loans) in forbearance decreased relative to the prior week: from 9.14% to 8.94%.
  • By stage, 15.9% of total loans in forbearance are in the initial forbearance plan stage, while 81.6% are in a forbearance extension. The remaining 2.5% are forbearance re-entries.
  • Total weekly forbearance requests as a percent of servicing portfolio volume (#) decreased relative to the prior week: from 0.07% to 0.06%.
  • Of the cumulative forbearance exits for the period from June 1, 2020, through February 14, 2021:
    • 27.9% represented borrowers who continued to make their monthly payments during their forbearance period.
    • 25.8% resulted in a loan deferral/partial claim.
    • 15.4% resulted in reinstatements, in which past-due amounts are paid back when exiting forbearance.
    • 13.8% represented borrowers who did not make all of their monthly payments and exited forbearance without a loss mitigation plan in place yet.
    • 7.8% resulted in a loan modification or trial loan modification.
    • 7.5% resulted in loans paid off through either a refinance or by selling the home.
    • The remaining 1.8% resulted in repayment plans, short sales, deed-in-lieus or other reasons.
  • Weekly servicer call center volume:
    • As a percent of servicing portfolio volume (#), calls increased from the previous week from 9.2% to 9.3%.
    • Average speed to answer decreased from 3.2 minutes to 2.3 minutes.
    • Abandonment rates decreased from 8.1% to 6.0%.
    • Average call length decreased from 8.2 minutes to 8.0 minutes.
  • Loans in forbearance as a share of servicing portfolio volume (#) as of February 14, 2021:
    • Total: 5.22% (previous week: 5.29%)
    • IMBs: 5.54% (previous week: 5.69%)
    • Depositories: 5.28% (previous week: 5.26%)

MBA's latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey covers the period from February 8 through February 14, 2021, and represents 74% of the first-mortgage servicing market (37.1 million loans). To subscribe to the full report, go to www.mba.org/fbsurvey. If you are a mortgage servicer interested in participating in the survey, email fbsurvey@mba.org.