Black Knight: Forbearances edge higher
Aug 23, 2021

After dropping by more than 150,000 over the past two weeks, active forbearance plans edged up slightly last week, according to the McDash Flash forbearance tracker from Black Knight. Andy Walden, Black Knight's director of market research, pointed out that this is now a well-established mid-month trend.

The week's 11,000 overall increase was driven entirely by a 12,000 rise in plans among Portfolio/PLS loans and offset by a 1,000 decline in GSE forbearances, according to Black Knight. FHA/VA plan volumes held flat from the week prior.

According to Walden, 1.75 million (3.3% of) borrowers remain in COVID-19 related forbearance plans as of August 17. That population includes 1.9% of GSE, 5.8% of FHA/VA and 4.0% of portfolio-held and privately securitized mortgages.

Plan volumes are now down 110,000 (-5.9%) from the same time last month, with the rate of improvement slowing slightly in recent weeks. Total plan starts were higher this week, primarily from a rise in re-start activity. New plan starts, though up slightly from last week, remain below the 5-week moving average. Meanwhile, plan removals hit their lowest weekly total since late May, but Walden said that was mainly due to the fact that review activity was low in general this past week.

Of those plans reviewed since last Tuesday, 41% resulted in exits, up from the 36% removal rate the same time last month. Activity is poised to pick up significantly with the first wave of final forbearance expirations only weeks away. Some 200,000 plans are currently slated for review through the final two weeks of August, with approximately one-third of those reaching their final expiration based on current allowable forbearance term lengths.

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