As expected, the trend of mid-month forbearance increases continued this week. New data from Black Knight’s Forbearance Tracker shows that the number of active forbearance plans increased by 15,000 (0.6%), with portfolio-held and privately securitized mortgages accounting for the largest weekly increase at 12,000 (1.8%). FHA/VA forbearances saw an increase of 5,000 (0.4%), while the GSEs experienced some small improvement – they saw a decrease of 2,000 forbearance plans (-0.2%) this week.
Despite the weekly increases, the overall monthly rate of decline held steady at -2% month-over-month. This continues the trend of very slow but consistent improvement in the number of outstanding forbearance cases. As of Feb. 16, 2.69 million (5.1% of) U.S. homeowners remain in forbearance. This is made up of 9.2% of FHA/VA mortgages, 3.2% of GSE mortgages and 5.1% of portfolio/privately securitized mortgages. New plan starts hit a low this week, while just one of every 77 homeowners who entered the week in forbearance left their plans, one of the lowest removal rates seen yet.