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Bank Loan Forbearance: evidence from a million restructured loans

Frederico Mourad, Rafael Schiozer and Toni dos Santos

No 541, Working Papers Series from Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department

Abstract: Forbearance is a concession granted by a lending bank to a borrower for reasons of financial difficulty. This paper examines why and when delinquent bank loans are forborne, using a novel dataset with over 13 million delinquent loans to non-financial firms in Brazil, from which 1.1 million are forborne. Our evidence shows that larger loans are more likely to be forborne, and that the greater the difficulty to seize collateral, the larger the probability of forbearance. Previous forbearances to a borrower are also positively associated with the probability of forbearance, which may be an indicative of loan evergreening. We also show that more than 80% of forbearance events occur in less than four months after a loan becomes more than 60 days past due (after which the bank may no longer accrue interest). Finally, we find that a regulatory rule that forces banks to increase provisions of non-delinquent loans when the same borrower also has a delinquent loan creates incentives for banks to forbear delinquent loans. Because loan evergreening may pose macroeconomic resource allocation problems and forbearance may be used to conceal loan losses, decrease provisions and manage earnings and capital, our findings have implications for the design of regulation and supervisory processes.

Date: 2020-11
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