Black Knight says forbearance extensions could change the landscape
There was a net 1.6% drop in the number of forbeared mortgages over the past week, a decrease of about 48,000 loans, as more plans that had expired at the end of January were processed out of the system. After the number of canceled loans fell by 45,000 the previous week, Black Knight had estimated that there were around 47,000 more expiries in January pending the deletion of one or the other. or a three-month extension of their abstention period.
The company, in its weekly COVID-19 abstention report, said the expirations driving the improvements over the past two weeks are three months. The maximum period of 12 months would have started to hit at the end of March. However, earlier this week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that borrowers of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSE) forbearance plans could be eligible for an additional extension of up to three months. .
As of Feb. 9, 2.67 million homeowners remained forborne, 5.0% of all mortgage holders, and representing $ 532 billion in principal overdue. Black Knight says this is the first time that number has fallen below 2.7 million since early April 2020.
There were declines for all types of investors, the largest among loans managed for bank portfolios and private label securities (PLS). Out of a net amount of 30,000 loans, 4.4% of these loans left the program. Loans managed for VA and FHA saw a reduction of 30,000 active plans or 1.1 percent and the GSE portfolio improved by 6,000 or 0.7 percent. As of February 9, 907,000 GSE loans, 1,114 FHA / VA loans and 650,000 portfolio / PLS loans remained in the forbearance plans. These represent 3.3, 9.2 and 5.0 percent of these respective portfolios.
Black Knight says it bears repeating that the overall improvement in the number of active plans continues to be limited. Monthly declines have averaged less than 2.0% since early December. The extension of the FHFA changes the landscape, of course, as around 30 percent of the remaining GSE abstentions were due to expire at the end of March. If Ginnie Mae extends the FHA and VA plans to a maximum of 15 months and the current rate of improvement continues, tthere would still be some 2.5 million owners in abstention at the end of Junewhen the first wave of loans has reached the new maturity.