Despite a second consecutive modest weekly increase, the number of loans in forbearance continue to trend well below those at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Knight said there was an uptick of 27,000 loans in forbearance plans during the period ended November 23. That reporting period was one day shorter than the usual week in preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The company reminds readers that "mild increases like this have been common in the middle of the month. Since the recovery started, the strongest declines have typically been seen early in the month, as expiring forbearance plans are removed."

The reporting period ended with 2.78 million homeowners in forbearance. This is approximately 5.3 percent of the 53 million active mortgages in the U.S., up from 5.2 percent last week. Together these loans represent $564 billion in unpaid principal.

Despite the increase, the number of active forbearances remains down by 207,000 from last month, a 7 percent decline. This is roughly equivalent to the declines seen in August and September. Eighty-one percent of the remaining loans have had their terms extended at some point since March.



The number of FHA and VA loans in forbearance increased by 17,000 during the week, to a total of 1,131,000 or 9.2 percent of their loans. Forborne loans serviced for private label securities (PLS) or bank portfolios grew by 10,000 to 670,000 or 5.2 percent of those portfolios.  There was essentially no change in the GSE portion, leaving 991,000 loans in plans, 3.6 percent of the total loans serviced for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.