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Black Knight: Forbearances Increase For Third Consecutive Week

Black Knight’s McDash Flash Forbearance Tracker found that forbearance plan volumes ticked upwards for the third week in a row, rising by 15,000 from the prior week and pushing the number of active plans to its highest level since early November.

We saw FHA/VA forbearances increase by 11,000 this week, with portfolio/PLS forbearances increasing by 4,000 while GSE volumes remained flat.

This week’s increase was primarily the result of limited forbearance plan removal activity, with removals falling to their lowest level since the start of the pandemic, likely due (at least in part) to the holiday week.

On a bright note, forbearance plan starts also hit their lowest level since the pandemic began, a number also likely impacted by the holidays. Forbearance start volumes have now fallen in each of the last three weeks running.

Despite three consecutive weekly rises, the number of active plans only stands 13,000 higher than the same point last month, and with nearly 270,000 forbearance plans still set to expire at the end of December, it’s possible that we could see an inflow of forbearance plan removals over the first week of January, a situation Black Knight experts will continue to monitor.

As of Dec. 29, some 2.83 million (5.3% of) homeowners remain in COVID-19-related forbearance plans, including 3.5% (964,000) of GSE mortgages, 9.6% (1.16 million) of FHA/VA loans and 5.4% (700,000) of portfolio-held and privately securitized loans.

Given the 270,000 plans currently set to expire at the end of December, these numbers are worth watching in the coming weeks. We will continue to post weekly updates here on this blog as the situation develops.