What is a Reperforming Loan – RPL?

A reperforming loan is a mortgage that became delinquent because the borrower was behind on payments by at least 90 days, but it is "performing" again because the borrower has resumed making payments.

How a Reperforming Loan Works

Although a borrower has begun to make loan payments again, the missed payments may not necessarily have been paid. Often, the borrower of a reperforming loan has filed for bankruptcy and has continued making payments as a result of the bankruptcy agreement. In some cases, borrowers are able to become current on their mortgages through a loan modification program sponsored by the government. Alternatively, a lender may agree to a loan modification to avoid a potential foreclosure. Borrowers whose loans are classified as reperforming will have fewer refinancing options because of their past delinquencies.

A borrower who has a reperforming loan will have fewer options for refinancing because of their past delinquency.

How Mortgage Investors View Reperforming Loans

For mortgage investors, reperforming loans are considered risky – much like subprime loans. They fall into a category known as "scratch-and-dent" loans. Rating agencies look at a borrower's repayment patterns and the lender's ability to manage the loan in determining investment risk for reperforming loans. That stands in contrast to a nonperforming loan, which is a loan for which the borrower has not made payments for over 90 days and has not resumed repayment of the loan.

Packaging and Selling Reperforming Loans

Fannie Mae (officially, the Federal National Mortgage Association, or FNMA), the government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) that helps make mortgages and rental housing affordable for millions of Americans, has been carrying billions of dollars worth of delinquent mortgages since the housing crisis. With the recovery of the economy many of these loans are performing again – that is, payments on the mortgages have become current with or without the assistance of modification of loan terms. To get these mortgages off its books Fannie Mae packages and markets the reperforming loans to investors, usually through a money center bank.

In September 2018, Fannie Mae concluded its eighth such sale of a package of reperforming loans, consisting of approximately 18,300 loans totaling $3.58 billion in unpaid principal balances, divided into four groups or pools. The winning bidders included Nomura Corporate Funding Americas LLC and Goldman Sachs Mortgage Company. The terms of the reperforming loan sale are designed to help protect home-owning borrowers in that buyers are required to offer loss mitigation options that are sustainable to a borrower who might re-default within five years after the closing of the reperforming loan sale. Buyers are also required to report on loss mitigation outcomes.