New forbearances slow to a trickle

by Ryan Smith02 Jun 2020

New mortgage forbearances have “slowed to a relative trickle,” according to the latest data from Black Knight.

As of May 26, 4.75 million homeowners were in forbearance. That’s a net increase of just 7,000 from the week before. In comparison, there was a 325,000 net increase in the first week of May, and an increase of 1.4 million in the first week of April.

The 4.75 million mortgages in forbearance represent 9% of all active mortgages and more than $1 trillion in unpaid principal, according to Black Knight. Currently, 7.1% of all GSE-backed loans and 12.7% of all FHA/VA loans are in forbearance plans.

At the current level, mortgage servicers will need to advance a combined $3.6 billion per month to holders of government-backed mortgage securities on COVID-19-related forbearances, Black Knight said. That’s in addition to the $1.5 billion in principal and interest payments servicers must make on behalf of borrowers.

“Reminder: P&I advance payments have been capped at four months for servicers of GSE-backed mortgages,” Black Knight said. “Given today’s number of loans in forbearance, servicers of GSE-backed loans still face up to $8.8 billion in advances over that four-month period.”