Black Knight reveals latest forbearance numbers

How many borrowers have reached their final plan expirations?

Black Knight reveals latest forbearance numbers

The number of mortgages in active forbearance decreased 22,000 last week – the first time forbearances fell below 1.6 million since the start of the pandemic.

Data from Black Knight’s report released Friday revealed that nearly 1.6 million borrowers remain in forbearance plans, representing 3% of all active mortgages as of September 14. They included 1.7% of GSE-backed loans, 5.2% of FHA/VA loans, and 3.8% of portfolio held and privately securitized loans.

Both GSE and FHA/VA forbearance plans were down by 15,000, while PLS/portfolio plans increased by 8,000. Overall, forbearances are now down 156,000, or 8.9%, month over month.

“Both new forbearance plans and plan restarts rose this week, with new plan starts trending higher since mid-August,” Black Knight said in a statement. “The rise in new plan starts is almost solely limited to FHA/VA loans, coinciding with the deadline for entry into forbearance for such loans expiring at the end of September. That said, unemployment benefits lapsed over the Labor Day weekend, and COVID caseloads continue to rise, so it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact cause.”

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About 218,000 borrowers exited forbearance plans over the first half of September, according to the report. Meanwhile, plan extensions are at their lowest since the start of the pandemic, with only 45,000 plans extended this week.

“With more than 462,000 plans scheduled for review for extension/removal in September, exit volumes could be poised to rise sharply at the start of October. As many as 330,000 are set to reach their final plan expirations based on current allowable forbearance term lengths,” Black Knight said.