Freddie Mac has published research examining the
characteristics of borrowers who took advantage of the availability of
forbearance plans in the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mortgage forbearance
temporarily removes the obligation for borrowers to make their monthly mortgage
payment. Forbearance plans are typically used by borrowers who experienced a
sudden loss of employment, a reduction in income or damage from a natural
disaster.

Freddie Mac looked at internal loan-level servicing
information on forbearance of its mortgages during three different periods,
comparing COVID forbearance rates from March to June 2020 against a baseline period
running from January 2019 to February 2020 and the 2017 storms and recovery from
August to December 2017. For that later period only loans eligible for disaster
related forbearance programs were included. The analysis is restricted to 30-year fixed-rate
mortgages, which were current and not in forbearance the month prior to the
start of the observation period.

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