Despite a 0.07 week-over-week increase in forbearance requests, the Mortgage Bankers Association said homeowners’ financial situations are turning around.

The Mortgage Bankers Association released on Tuesday its latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey results, which revealed the total number of loans in forbearance increased .07 percent from 8.46 percent on May 25 to 8.53 percent on May 31. More than four million homeowners are now in mortgage forbearance, according to the MBA.

The FCV survey results are based on call center data provided by Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other independent mortgage bank servicers. The data covers 76 percent of the mortgage-first servicing market, which represents 38.2 million loans.

As of May 31, 11.83 percent of Ginnie Mae loans were in forbearance — the highest percentage of any other servicer. During the same period, 6.40 percent of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans, 9.18 percent of depository lenders (e.g. credit unions) loans, 8.39 percent of independent mortgage bank servicers (e.g. Quicken Loans) were also in forbearance.

Mike Frantantoni

“The overall share of loans in forbearance increased by only 7 basis points compared to the prior week,” said MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni in a prepared statement. “With the job market beginning to gradually improve, more homeowners are exiting forbearance, and we are seeing declines in forbearance volume among some servicers.”

“However, this week’s findings did reveal divergence among servicers,” Frantantoni added. “The share of loans in forbearance decreased for depository servicers but continued to increase for [independent mortgage bank] servicers.”

“While servicers reported only a 1-basis-point increase in the forbearance share for [government-sponsored enterprise] and Ginnie Mae loans, the increase for private-label securities and portfolio loans rose to over 10 percent, which is higher than the rate on GSE loans,” he concluded.

Despite the 7-basis-point increase (equal to 0.07 percent) in overall loans in forbearance and the 1-basis-point increase (equal to 0.01 percent) in GSE loans, MBA said the number of forbearance requests dropped across all investor types from 0.20 percent to 0.17 percent — the eighth consecutive week of such declines.

Lastly, weekly call center volume increased from 6.4 percent to 6.7 percent of servicing portfolio volume, which MBA said is a reflection of end-of-month payment inquiries. The average answer speed slowed from 1.3 minutes to 1.6 minutes, and call lengths increased from 6.7 minutes to 7.3 minutes.

Look at the MBA’s survey results in full below.

Email Marian McPherson

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