The number of homeowners in forbearance increased last month for the first time in more than two years, driven in part by new forbearances continuing to match the number of exits, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

In its monthly Loan Monitoring Survey released yesterday, the MBA found that the total number of loans now in forbearance increased by 1 basis point from 0.69 percent of servicers’ portfolio volume in September to 0.70 percent in October. The MBA estimates that 350,000 homeowners are in forbearance plans, up from an estimated 345,000 in September.

Marina Walsh, MBA’s vice president of industry analysis, said in a statement that October’s forbearance results were a “mixed bag” depending on investor type.

The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased 1 basis point to 0.31 percent. Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance increased 8 basis points to 1.41 percent, while the forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities declined 11 basis points to 1.03 percent.

“Several factors were behind the first monthly increase in forbearances in 29 months, including the effects of Hurricane Ian in the Southeast, the diminishing number of loans bought out of Ginnie Mae pools and placed in portfolio, and the fact that new forbearance requests have closely matched forbearance exits for the past three months,” Walsh said.

The MBA said that 36.7 percent of total loans in forbearance were in the initial forbearance plan stage in October compared to 33.7 percent in September. The remaining loans include 50.9 percent that were in a forbearance extension and 12.4 percent that were forbearance re-entries, including re-entries with extensions.

For depository institutions, 0.47 percent of their loan portfolio is in forbearance compared to 0.48 percent in September, while 0.96 percent of independent mortgage banks’ portfolios is in forbearance, compared to 0.95 percent in September.

The percent of borrowers current on their mortgage – not delinquent or in foreclosure – was 95.7 percent in October, down from 95.85 percent in September.

“The overall share of loans that were current last month decreased 15 basis points to 95.70 percent, with 44 states reporting declines,” Walsh said. “Florida, which was hit the hardest by Hurricane Ian, experienced a 49-basis-point drop in the share of loans that were current – the biggest decline of all states.”

MBA: Forbearance Rate Increases for First Time Since 2020

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min