There was a 15,000 loan or 0.06 percent increase in the overall number of forbearances last week.  Black Knight says that the gain was somewhat typical of the mid-month performance of the program, with the largest declines at the beginning of the month, tapering off as the previous month's plan expirations are processed. Only one out of every 77 homeowners who were in forbearance at the beginning of the week had exited by the end, one of the lowest removal rates. However new plan entries hit a post-pandemic low.

The company puts the current number of forborne loans at 2.69 million, 5.1 percent of the estimated 53 million active mortgages. The unpaid balance of loans in plans is $535 billion. Black Knight says that, despite the past week's uptick, the decline over the last month held steady at 2.0 percent, slightly more than the average monthly improvement since early December.

Loans serviced for bank portfolios and private label securities (PLS) had the largest increase, rising by 12,000 loans to a total of 662,000 or 5.1 percent of those loans. The number of FHA and VA loans in forbearance rose by 5,000 to 1.12 million, a 9.2 percent share. The combined Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSE) portfolios did see a decline, although it was a small one, 2,000 loans. That leaves 905,000 GSE loans in forbearance, 5.1 percent of their total.



Black Knight expects any declines in the forbearance number to be limited over the next few weeks. Only 204,000 plans are due to expire at the end of February.