The total number of mortgage loans in forbearance increased from 7.54 percent of servicers’ portfolio volume during the previous week to 7.91 percent during the week of April 27 to May 3, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey. For reference, only 0.25 percent of loans were in forbearance during the week of March 2.

Ginnie Mae held the largest share of loans in forbearance, with the servicer’s loans in forbearance increasing from 10.45 percent during the previous week to 10.96 percent during the week of April 27.

Courtesy of Mortgage Bankers Association

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance increased by 5.85 percent to 6.08 percent. The share of other loans in forbearance (private label securities, portfolio loans, etc.) also steadily rose from 8.30 percent to 8.88 percent during this period.

Mike Fratantoni | Photo credit: Mortgage Bankers Association

“With the calendar turning to May, the share of loans in forbearance increased, but the pace of the increase and incoming forbearance requests continued to slow,” Mike Fratantoni, senior vice president and chief economist at MBA, said in a statement.

“The dreadful April jobs report showed a decline of more than 20 million jobs, and a spike in the unemployment rate to the highest level since the Great Depression,” Fratantoni added. “It will not be surprising if the forbearance numbers continue to rise. As we anticipated, FHA and VA borrowers have been most impacted by the job losses thus far, with the share of Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance at almost 11 percent.”

Courtesy of Mortgage Bankers Association

While total loans in forbearance continued to rise, forbearance requests as a percentage of servicing portfolio volume decreased across all investor types for the fourth week in a row, from 0.63 percent to 0.51 percent.

Still, weekly servicer call volume rose this week, from 7.2 percent the previous week to 8.6 percent, perhaps an indication in spiked interest in forbearance enrollment.

“Although the pace of forbearance requests slowed this week, call volume picked up — which could be a sign that more borrowers are calling in to check their options now that May due dates have arrived,” Fratantoni added.

Abandonment rates also increased during this period from 5.8 percent to 6.6 percent. The number of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers rose from 7.13 percent the previous week to 7.54 percent, as did loans in forbearance for depository services from 8.41 percent the week prior to 8.75 percent.

Email Lillian Dickerson

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