Bloomberg Law
April 27, 2020, 8:00 PM

Loan Payment Relief Granted to 7% of U.S. Mortgage Borrowers

John Gittelsohn
John Gittelsohn
Bloomberg News

About 3.5 million U.S. homeowners -- 6.99% of borrowers -- received payment relief because of losses tied to the coronavirus outbreak, up from 5.95% a week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Loans backed by Ginnie Mae -- mostly made to borrowers with lower credit scores and smaller down payments -- had the highest rate in forbearance at 9.73%, according to the Washington-based trade group’s survey covering the period through April 19. Other governnent-backed loans, by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, had a 5.46% forbearance rate. For privately issued loans, held by banks or other investors, 7.52% went into forbearance.

“We expect forbearance requests will pick up again as we approach May payment due dates,” MBA Chief Economist Michael Fratantoni said.

The $2.3 trillion stimulus act passed by Congress in March allows borrowers to request an initial 180 days to delay payments without penalty. Borrowers will be allowed to stretch out the repayments over time and avoid a lump sum catchup when the crisis passes, the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced Monday.

Previously: Homeowners in Forebearance Top 3.4 Million: Black Knight

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John Gittelsohn in Los Angeles at

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Craig Giammona at

Rob Urban, Christine Maurus

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