Can Unemployment Numbers Predict the Number of Mortgages That Will Go into Forbearance?

Brief

Can Unemployment Numbers Predict the Number of Mortgages That Will Go into Forbearance?

Abstract

Estimating how many of the 33.4 million borrowers who have government-backed mortgages will ask for forbearance in the coming months is critical for policymakers to know how much support mortgage servicers require to remain operational. Most mortgage market analysts have modeled homeowners’ forbearance take-up on the unemployment rate. The researchers explain how complicated this calculation is, that it should be based on the homeowner unemployment rate, not the overall unemployment rate, and offer three reasons the forbearance rate might be higher than the homeowner unemployment rate and three reasons it might be lower.

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