Forbearance exits bounce to a excessive that has not been seen since March

Forbearance exits jumped to highs not seen since March, outweighing a slight surge in new applications and re-entries, according to the latest weekly report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

As a percentage of the servicer's portfolio volume, exits increased 15 basis points to 3.08%, new inquiries increased from 0.04% to 0.05% and call center activity increased from 5.58% in the previous week to 7.7% .

The figures for the period between August 30 and September 5 indicate a trend that pandemic-related payment suspensions are decreasing as the maturity dates approach, even though the number of new borrowers applying for deferral plans is increasing.

"We expect a similarly fast pace of exits in the coming weeks, which should lead to increased call volume and a further decline in forbearance stock," said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, in a press release.

Despite the net decrease in forbearance, other statistics point to capacity bottlenecks in call centers due to new inquiries. The average response speed increased from one minute to 1.6 minutes, the abandonment rates increased from 3.3% to 4% and the processing times increased from 8.1 minutes to 8.2 minutes.

Forbearance rates remained slightly higher for non-custodians at 3.33% versus 3.49% than for banks in the MBA survey, which fell from 3.33% to 3.15%.

The forbearance rate for loans in Ginnie Mae securitisations fell from 3.63% to 3.39% and for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans to 1.52% from 1.63%. Other loans, a category that includes privately securitized and portfolio products, decreased from 7.52% to 7.27%.

The MBA data reflects reports from 24 independent mortgage companies, 21 custodians and two subservicers.

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