The Risk Assessment, Data Analysis, and Research (RADAR) Group has provided an ongoing analysis of the CARES Act Mortgage Forbearance Program since September 2021. As the federally declared COVID-19 public health emergency comes to an end, this final report in our series sums up the impact of the program and takes a look at the future.

Our findings show that more than 95 percent of the estimated 8.5 million borrowers who entered forbearance have exited. Forbearances have dwindled to levels consistent with prepandemic levels for portfolio lenders and the government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The one remaining group of sizable forbearances are the FHA/VA borrowers, with now close to 200,000 mortgages still in forbearance. Our overall findings are that the program mitigated a default wave like that experienced during the Great Recession of 2008–09, as both government and private lenders participated on a broad scale to provide forbearance relief to all who requested it. And the program achieved its objectives of providing relief to those most in need of help.

Of the borrowers who entered forbearance and cured, almost three-quarters of their requests were worked out in some way by mortgage servicers to keep them in their homes. Thus, our findings show that the CARES Act Mortgage Forbearance Program with private sector participation provided short-term debt relief to those most in need, with subsequent servicer workout programs providing longer-term help to keep millions of borrowers in their homes.

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