There was a 15,000 loan or 0.06
percent increase in the overall number of forbearances last week. Black Knight says that the gain was somewhat
typical of the mid-month performance of the program, with the largest declines
at the beginning of the month, tapering off as the previous month’s plan expirations
are processed. Only one out of every 77 homeowners who were in forbearance at
the beginning of the week had exited by the end, one of the lowest removal
rates. However new plan entries hit a post-pandemic low.
The company puts the current number
of forborne loans at 2.69 million, 5.1 percent of the estimated 53 million active
mortgages. The unpaid balance of loans in plans is $535 billion. Black Knight says
that, despite the past week’s uptick, the decline over the last month held
steady at 2.0 percent, slightly more than the average monthly improvement since
Loans serviced for bank portfolios
and private label securities (PLS) had the largest increase, rising by 12,000 loans
to a total of 662,000 or 5.1 percent of those loans. The number of FHA and VA loans
in forbearance rose by 5,000 to 1.12 million, a 9.2 percent share. The combined
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSE) portfolios did see a decline, although it was
a small one, 2,000 loans. That leaves 905,000 GSE loans in forbearance, 5.1
percent of their total.
Black Knight expects any declines in
the forbearance number to be limited over the next few weeks. Only 204,000
plans are due to expire at the end of February.