American Homeowners Grab at Mortgage Forbearance During Lockdown

(Bloomberg) — Almost 6% of U.S. mortgage borrowers have stopped making their payments following the passage of the CARES Act, which allows for easy forbearance.

The share of home loans in forbearance jumped to 5.95% during the week ended April 12, up from 3.74% the previous week, according to a survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Only 0.25% of all loans were in forbearance during the week of March 2.

Home loans backed by Ginnie Mae, which are issued to riskier borrowers, again showed the largest weekly growth, with the share in forbearance climbing 2.37 percentage points to 8.26%. However, loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increased almost as fast — by 2.20 percentage points — to 4.64%.

Over 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the past four weeks with the virus battering the economy. The government is requiring lenders handling payments on taxpayer-backed loans

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