MBA: Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Increases to Nearly 7%

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey showed loans now in forbearance increased from 5.95% of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 6.99% as of April 19.

Mortgages backed by Ginnie Mae once again showed the sharpest growth (1.47%) from the prior week and had the largest overall share of loans in forbearance by investor type (9.73%). Loans in forbearance for depository servicers rose to 7.87%, while loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank servicers increased to 6.52%.

“Over 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the last month, leading to nearly 7 percent – 3.5 million – of all mortgage borrowers asking to be put into forbearance plans,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “For FHA and VA borrowers, the share of loans in forbearance is even higher, at 10 percent.”

Fratantoni noted forbearance requests fell relative to the prior week but remain nearly 100 times greater than the early March baseline. “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,” he said. “We expect forbearance requests will pick up again as we approach May payment due dates. The combination of stimulus payments, expanded unemployment insurance benefits, further fiscal and monetary actions, and states reopening will hopefully begin to stabilize forbearance requests and the overall economy.”  

Key report findings for the week of April 13-19

  • Total loans in forbearance grew relative to the prior week from 5.95% to 6.99%. By comparison, only 0.25% of all loans were in forbearance the week of March 2.
    • By investor type, Ginnie Mae loans grew the most relative to the prior week, from 8.26% to 9.73%.
    • The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance increased relative to the prior week, from 4.64% to 5.46%.
    • The share of other loans (e.g. private-label securities and portfolio loans) in forbearance increased relative to the prior week, from 6.43% to 7.52%.
  • Forbearance requests as a percent of servicing portfolio volume (#) dropped relative to the prior week, from 1.79% to 1.14%.
  • Weekly servicer call center volume:  
    • As a percent of servicing portfolio volume (#), calls increased from 8.8% to 10.0%.
    • Hold times remained relatively flat relative to the prior week at 5.0 minutes.
    • Abandonment rates increased slightly from 9.7% to 9.9%.
    • Average call length rose for the fifth consecutive week from 7.6 minutes to 7.7 minutes.
  • Loans in forbearance as a share of servicing portfolio volume (#) as of April 19:
    • Total: 6.99% (previous week: 5.95%)
    • IMBs: 6.52% (previous week: 5.69%)
    • Depositories: 7.87% (previous week: 6.57%)

This Forbearance and Call Volume Survey covers the period from April 13 through April 19 and represents nearly 77% of the first-mortgage servicing market (38.3 million loans).