MBA: Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Increases to 8.46%

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey reported loans now in forbearance increased to 8.46% of servicers’ portfolio volume from 8.36% the prior week as of May 24. MBA estimates 4.2 million homeowners are now in forbearance plans.

Mortgages backed by Ginnie Mae again saw the largest overall share of loans in forbearance by investor type (11.82%) and the largest increase from the previous week (22 basis points). Loans in forbearance for depository servicers rose to 9.19%, while loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank servicers increased to 8.21%.

Mike Fratantoni

“MBA’s survey continues to indicate that fewer homeowners are seeking forbearance as more states across the country reopen their economies and prospects begin to improve,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “The share of loans in forbearance increased by only 10 basis points over the week of May 24. Policy support for households, including expanded unemployment insurance benefits and other transfers, have helped many stay on their feet during this crisis. With 11.82 percent of Ginnie Mae loans currently in forbearance, FHA and VA borrowers are struggling the most.”

Fratantoni added forbearance requests and call volume declined relative to the prior week and led to further declines in wait times and abandonment rates. 

Key findings of MBA Forbearance and Call Volume Survey – May 18-May 24

  • Total loans in forbearance grew relative to the prior week from 8.36% to 8.46%. This 10-basis- point weekly increase was the smallest increase reported since the week of March 9.
    • By investor type, the share of Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance increased relative to the prior week: from 11.60% to 11.82%.
    • The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance increased relative to the prior week: from 6.36% to 6.39%.
    • The share of other loans (e.g., private-label securities and portfolio loans) in forbearance increased relative to the prior week: from 9.54% to 9.67%.
  • Forbearance requests as a percent of servicing portfolio volume (#) dropped across all investor types for the sixth consecutive week relative to the prior week: from 0.28% to 0.20%.
  • Weekly servicer call center volume:  
    • As a percent of servicing portfolio volume (#), calls decreased from 8.6% to 6.6% – the lowest since this survey series began in the week of March 2.
    • Average speed to answer and abandonment rates also reached their lowest levels for this series. Average speed to answer decreased relative to the prior week from 1.6 minutes to 1.3 minutes. Abandonment rates decreased from 4.6% to 4.0%.
    • Average call length decreased from 7.0 minutes to 6.7 minutes.
  • Loans in forbearance as a share of servicing portfolio volume (#) as of May 24, 2020:
    • Total: 8.46% (previous week: 8.36%)
    • IMBs: 8.21% (previous week: 8.11%)
    • Depositories: 9.19% (previous week: 9.13%)

MBA’s latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey covers the period from May 18-24 and represents nearly 75% of the first-mortgage servicing market (37.6 million loans).