Fannie-Freddie short-sale program may hurt sellers' credit scores

WASHINGTON — With generous new guidelines from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac likely to stimulate large numbers of short sales by underwater homeowners, what effect will the sales have on the sellers’ credit scores?

It’s a crucial question, because short sales typically cause FICO scores to plummet, sometimes 150 points or more. This, in turn, complicates sellers’ credit capabilities for years and makes additional borrowing — whether for auto loans, credit cards or new mortgages — tougher and more expensive.

The issue arises now because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — the dominant sources of home loan funds — recently outlined plans to approve short sales for underwater borrowers who are current on their loan payments, provided that they face an imminent hardship. Although the numbers of participants in the plan won’t be known for months, the two companies combined have about 3.7 million underwater mortgages in their portfolios on which borrowers are making their payments on time, according to federal regulators.

  • Also
  • Fannie, Freddie ease short-sale rules in hardship cases

  • Consumer bureau wants to open a window on home appraisals

  • Are FICO scores outdated in rating risk of home loan applicants?

Short sales traditionally have been associated with extended periods of delinquency by borrowers. The technique itself — in which the lender agrees to accept less than what’s owed and the property is sold — usually has been employed as an alternative to foreclosure.

As a result, FICO credit scores — the major risk predictive tool used in the mortgage industry — have severely penalized borrowers who opt for short sales. VantageScore, the FICO rival created by the three national credit bureaus, also hits short sellers with triple-digit point losses.

In a recent blog post, Frederic Huynh, FICO’s senior scientist, said statistical reviews of short sellers by the company concluded that they “represent a high degree of risk” to lenders. More than 55% of short sellers in a sample of borrowers from 2007 to 2009 went on to later default on other credit accounts after completing the sale transaction. This ranks them in the same “heavyweight” risk class as people who have been foreclosed upon, filed for bankruptcy, or had a tax lien or collection account.

But hold on. Won’t underwater homeowners who qualify for the upcoming short-sale program be fundamentally different? Won’t they have solid mortgage payment histories despite being underwater? Why should they have to take the same heavy hits to their scores earned by people who didn’t pay their mortgage for months on end?

Good questions, but it appears that these sellers won’t get the break they deserve. The scoring system, credit experts say, isn’t set up to recognize — or properly report — short sales by on-time mortgage customers to the national credit bureaus. And the credit score companies aren’t planning to make any changes to the penalties their models assign to people who participate in short sales.

Anthony Sprauve, a spokesman for Fair Isaac Corp., developer of the FICO score, says that in general, when a loan is paid off for less than the full balance, it is “classified as a severe negative item” by the FICO scoring model. And “there are currently no plans to change,” he added.

Sarah Davies, senior vice president for research and analytics for VantageScore Solutions, said her company probably won’t modify its scoring algorithms either, despite the fact that the seller was not delinquent and came to a mutually satisfactory resolution with the lender.

Terry Clemans, executive director of the National Credit Reporting Assn., an industry trade group, says this is all inherently unfair for borrowers who have continued to make timely payments on their loans. Crushing them with deep credit score penalties “doesn’t reflect the fact that these people are actually excellent credit risks. They simply encountered an extraordinary situation” — namely, the national home value bust — which put them underwater.

A Fannie Mae spokesman, Andrew Wilson, said his company has no control over how short sales — whether of people who paid on time or those who didn’t — are scored. But when borrowers do a short sale rather than force the lender to foreclose, Fannie rewards them: They are potentially eligible for a new mortgage again within two years of a short sale. People who go to foreclosure, by contrast, may not be able to get a new Fannie loan for as long as seven years.

Bottom line: If you’re underwater and plan to use the new Fannie-Freddie short-sale program this year, don’t bank on any special favors when it comes to your credit score. It looks as if you’re going to take a big hit, despite all your on-time payments.

kenharney@earthlink.net

Distributed by Washington Post Writers Group.

HARP Refinances Continue Strong Pace in July


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WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 — Federal Housing Finance Agency issued the following news release:

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today released its July Refinance Report, which shows a key milestone was reached when more than 519,000 loans were refinanced through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) since the beginning of this year. The continued high volume of HARP loans is attributed to record-low mortgage rates and program enhancements announced last year including removal of the loan-to-value (LTV) ceiling for borrowers who refinance into fixedrate loans and the elimination or lowering of fees for certain borrowers.

“When we announced additional program changes to HARP last fall, we were cautiously optimistic that the changes would double or more the number of HARP refinances,” said Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco. “With more than half-a-million homeowners taking advantage of the program in the first seven months of this year Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are on track to meet or surpass our original estimates.”

Also in the report:

* Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinanced 519,339 loans in the first seven months of this year through HARP – more than all HARP refinances – 400,024 – last year.

* Since the program’s inception in 2009, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have financed more than 1.5 million loans through HARP.

* Borrowers in June and July 2012 with LTV ratios greater than 105 percent accounted for more than half the volume of HARP loans as lenders began to sell Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities containing these loans with LTV ratios greater than 125 percent as of June 1.

* In July, 20 percent of underwater borrowers chose shorter-term 15- and 20-year mortgages, which help build equity faster.

* In July, HARP refinances represented nearly 60 percent or more of total refinances in states hard-hit by the housing downturn – Nevada, Arizona and Florida -compared with 27 percent of total refinances nationwide.

* In Nevada, Arizona and Florida, underwater borrowers with LTV ratios greater than 105 percent represented more than 70 percent of HARP volume in July.

Link to Refinance Report (http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/24274/Jul-12%20Refi%20ReportFINAL.pdf)

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Bloomington Short Sale Agent Kris Lindahl Releases The Freddie Mac Short Sale Video

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Will jobs data hurt real-estate recovery?

The most recent job numbers may be disappointing in more ways than one: Payroll numbers will need to more than double their current growth rate before a full housing recovery can occur, economists say.

Recent weeks have seen some upbeat news about the housing market. According to data released this week by CoreLogic, for example, home prices increased 3.8% in July compared with a year prior—the biggest year-over-year increase since August 2006.

Read more in our Real Estate Weekly newsletter.

But a lagging workforce is likely to hold back the recovery in home sales. Today’s jobs report indicates that growth remains sluggish: U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 96,000 in August, according to seasonally adjusted data released by the Labor Department. Economists expected a gain of 125,000. While the unemployment rate fell to 8.1%, down from 8.3% in July, that was largely because some people stopped looking for work.

Beth Ann Bovino, deputy chief economist at Standard Poor’s, says roughly 200,000 jobs have to be added per month through 2013 in order for the housing market to fully bounce back. And the unemployment rate will need to drop to at least 7%, she says: “[Current] numbers won’t push the recovery into full gear—we’re nowhere near that.”

If selling short, expect to take credit hit

Nation’s Housing

WASHINGTON — With generous new guidelines from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac likely to stimulate large numbers of short sales by underwater homeowners, what can these sellers expect to see on their credit scores?

It’s a crucial question because short sales typically cause FICO scores to plummet, sometimes by 150 points or more. This, in turn, complicates sellers’ credit capabilities for years and makes additional borrowings — whether for auto loans, credit cards or new mortgages — tougher and more expensive.

The issue arises now because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — the dominant sources of home-loan funds — recently outlined plans to approve short sales for underwater borrowers who are current on their loan payments, provided they face an imminent “hardship.”

Though the numbers of participants in the plan won’t be known for months, the two companies combined have approximately 3.7 million underwater mortgages in their portfolios on which borrowers are making their payments on time, according to federal regulators.

Short sales traditionally have been associated with extended periods of delinquency by borrowers. The technique itself — where the lender agrees to accept less than what’s owed and the property is sold — has been used as an alternative to foreclosure.

As a result, FICO credit scores — the major risk predictive tool of the mortgage industry — have severely penalized borrowers who opt for short sales. VantageScore, the FICO rival created by the three national credit bureaus, also hits short sellers with triple-digit point losses.

In a recent blog post, Frederic Huynh, FICO’s senior scientist, said statistical reviews of short sellers by the company concluded that they “represent a high degree of risk” to lenders.

More than 55 percent of short sellers in a sample of borrowers between 2007-09 went on to later default on other credit accounts after completing the sale transaction. This ranks them in “the same heavyweight (risk) class” as people who’ve been foreclosed upon, filed for bankruptcy, had a tax lien or collection account.

But hold on. Won’t underwater homeowners who qualify for the upcoming short-sale program be fundamentally different? Won’t they have solid mortgage-payment histories despite being underwater? Why should they have to take the same heavy hits to their scores earned by people who didn’t pay their mortgage for months on end?

Good questions, but it appears these sellers won’t get the break they deserve. The current scoring system, credit experts say, isn’t set up to recognize — or properly report — short sales by on-time mortgage customers to the national credit bureaus. And the credit-score companies aren’t planning to make any changes to the penalties their models assign to people who participate in short sales.

Anthony Sprauve, a spokesman for Fair Isaac Corp., developer of the FICO score, says that “in general,” when a “loan (is) paid off for less than the full balance,” it is “classified as a severe negative item” by the FICO scoring model. And “there are currently no plans to change,” Sprauve added.

Sarah Davies, senior vice president for research and analytics for VantageScore Solutions, said her company won’t likely modify its scoring algorithms either, despite the fact the seller was not delinquent and came to a mutually satisfactory resolution with the lender.

Terry Clemans, executive director of the National Credit Reporting Association, an industry trade group, says this is all inherently “unfair” for borrowers who’ve continued to make timely payments on their loans.

Crushing them with deep credit-score penalties “doesn’t reflect the fact that these people are actually excellent credit risks. They simply encountered an extraordinary situation,” Clemans says, namely, the national home-value bust — which put them underwater.

A Fannie Mae spokesman, Andrew Wilson, said his company has no control over how short sales — whether of people who paid on time or those who didn’t — are scored.

However, when borrowers do a short sale rather than force the lender to foreclose, Fannie rewards them. They are potentially eligible for a new mortgage again within two years after a short sale.

People who go to foreclosure, by contrast, may not be able to get a new Fannie loan for up to seven years.

Bottom line: At the moment, if you’re underwater and plan to use the new Fannie-Freddie short-sale program later this year, don’t bank on any special favors when it comes to your credit score. It looks like you’re going to have to take a big hit, despite all your on-time payments.

Ken Harney’s email address is kenharney@earthlink.net

Freddie Mac Announces Eleventh $1 Billion Multifamily Securities Offering This …


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PR Newswire

MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) today announced a new offering of Structured Pass-Through Certificates (“K Certificates”), which are multifamily mortgage-backed securities.  The company expects to offer approximately $1.1 billion in K Certificates (“K-020 Certificates”), which are expected to price the week of September 4, 2012, and settle on or about September 25, 2012.  This is Freddie Mac’s eleventh K Certificate offering this year.

The K-020 Certificates are backed by 77 recently-originated multifamily mortgages and are guaranteed by Freddie Mac. The K-020 Certificates will be offered to the market by a syndicate led by Morgan Stanley Co. LLC and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC as co-lead managers and joint bookrunners. Barclays Capital, Inc., Guggenheim Securities, LLC, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, and UBS Securities LLC will serve as co-managers.

The K-020 Certificates include two senior principal and interest classes, one senior interest only class and a junior interest only class.  Fitch, Inc. and Kroll Bond Rating Agency, Inc. have been engaged to rate the three senior classes of K-020 Certificates, which are each expected to receive a rating of “AAA(sf)” from each rating agency, subject to on-going monitoring.  

Freddie Mac is a leading issuer of agency-guaranteed structured multifamily securities. K Certificates feature a wide range of investor options with stable cash flows and a structured credit enhancement. K-deals include guaranteed senior principal and interest, and interest only classes.

The preliminary offering circular supplement relating to the K-020 Certificates can be found at http://www.freddiemac.com/mbs/data/k020oc.pdf.  A Freddie Mac multifamily investor presentation on the K Certificate deal structure and multifamily loan portfolio performance data is available at FreddieMac.com.  Freddie Mac also has an online tool for investors and analysts, Multifamily Securities Investor Access. This is a central database that houses all post-securitization data from Investor Reporting Packages to help investors and analysts monitor K-Deal performance.

This announcement is not an offer to sell any Freddie Mac securities. Offers for any given security are made only through applicable offering circulars and related supplements, which incorporate Freddie Mac’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 9, 2012; all other reports Freddie Mac filed with the SEC pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (‘Exchange Act”) since December 31, 2011, excluding any information “furnished” to the SEC on Form 8-K; and all documents that Freddie Mac files with the SEC pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c) or 14 of the Exchange Act, excluding any information “furnished” to the SEC on Form 8-K.

Freddie Mac’s press releases sometimes contain forward-looking statements. A description of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in these and other forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, http://www.freddiemac.com/investors/infostat and its reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K, filed with the SEC and available on the Investor Relations page of the company’s Web site at www.FreddieMac.com/investors and the SEC’s Web site at www.sec.gov.

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation’s residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Over the years, Freddie Mac has made home possible for one in six homebuyers and more than five million renters. www.FreddieMac.com.  Twitter: @FreddieMac

 

SOURCE Freddie Mac

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Foreigners shop for Bay Area real estate

Whether snapping up a discounted Marin mansion for vacations, buying a small Oakland apartment building for a cash-flow investment or purchasing a home of their own as they move here, foreign buyers are an increasingly potent force in residential real estate in the Bay Area, as well as nationally.

Drawn by the relative bargains after housing’s free fall of the past few years, many foreign citizens view U.S. residential real estate as a safe place to park their euros, pesos, rupees, loonies, pounds or yuan.

“Housing is much more affordable in the U.S. than it has been, both for Americans and foreigners,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist with real estate site Trulia.com. “In markets where prices fell dramatically during the housing bust, foreigners have been searching for and buying bargains.”

Foreign buyers plowed $82.5 billion into U.S. homes for the 12 months ended in March, up 24 percent from $66.4 billion the year before, according to the National Association of Realtors, which does an annual survey on international buyers.

The sales – which represented 8.9 percent of all home purchases – were evenly split between recent immigrants and nonresident foreigners, the Realtors group said.

In the nine-county Bay Area, about 6 percent of all property searches by prospective buyers come from abroad, according to Trulia.com, which gets 100 million page views on its site every month. San Francisco is by far the most popular search location for foreigners. Since it is a high-cost area with a thriving job market, it seems likely that many searchers are not looking for rental properties for investment purposes but instead are looking to move to the city.

No U.S. credit history

That was the case with Anant Sapatnekar, 40, who was born in India and after 16 years in Canada has joint Indian-Canadian citizenship. Sapatnekar moved to San Francisco for a software engineering job a few months ago and decided to buy a home to establish himself in his new city.

He faced the usual challenges of sticker shock and a competitive market. But his citizenship added some special hurdles.

“It turned out because I didn’t have any U.S. credit history, I didn’t have FICO scores and all that stuff that U.S. banks required” to get a mortgage, he said.

His first accepted offer fell through when he couldn’t get a home loan in time. Eventually he lined up financing from the U.S. division of the Royal Bank of Canada, since it was able to track his Canadian credit history.

In another way, his status as an immigrant helped him.

When Sapatnekar found a Bernal Heights condo that he liked, his agent encouraged him to write a personal letter to the seller.

“I wrote something from my heart about how I just moved here to start a new life, uprooting myself from one country and starting all over again for the second time,” he said. “I said I really liked the house and it would really help me if you sell it to me.”

His agent, Robert Carter of Vanguard Properties in San Francisco, said: “The seller was an overseas immigrant as well, who came from another country with nothing. She started tearing up (when she read the letter). There were other offers for more money, one of which was all cash” – but she picked Sapatnekar.

Nationally, Florida, California, Texas and Arizona are the preferred states for foreign buyers, the Realtors group found, with Florida accounting for 26 percent of international sales and California in second place with 11 percent. Slightly more than half (55 percent) of the buyers came from five countries: Canada, China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong), Mexico, India and the United Kingdom.

Financing a challenge

In the Bay Area, Trulia found that Canada and the United Kingdom were where most foreign searches originated. In San Mateo, people from Hong Kong, China and Taiwan were heavy searchers, while in Santa Clara County, Indian nationals did a lot of searches.

As Sapatnekar discovered, financing can be a huge challenge for foreign buyers, which may limit the pool to those with deep pockets. The Realtors survey found that 62 percent of international buyers simply paid in cash.

But even those with resources at home may face restrictions.

“The biggest challenge I have with (overseas) buyers is getting their money into the United States,” said Mary Beall, an agent with Prudential California Realty in Walnut Creek. “Many countries have limitations on how much money (citizens) can take out.” One buyer from the Philippines spent several years moving money into a U.S. account in order to pay for a home. “When you make an all-cash offer on a house, if your money is not sitting here in a bank account, they won’t take your offer,” she said.

Luxury properties

Some overseas buyers have such deep pockets that it’s not an issue.

Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner, an early Facebook investor, bought a 25,500-square-foot Los Altos mansion last year for a cool $100 million – the highest price ever paid for a single-family home in the United States. Modeled on an 18th century French chateau, it has indoor and outdoor pools, a ballroom, and a tennis court, the Wall Street Journal said.

“Lower end” luxury properties are bargains these days. Anna Roberts of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage represents a Dubai oil executive who paid $1.75 million for a luxury home in the Marin community of Ignacio. “The owner had put over $3 million into it, so it was an excellent value,” she said. Her buyer plans to use it for family vacations.

“There are cultural differences and sensitivities” in working with overseas buyers, she said. “They need lots of additional information.”

Serbian national Milos Citakovic, 26, who moved to San Francisco four months ago as co-founder of a text-messaging company called Poosh.com, said he is seeking a two-bedroom condo here in the $800,000 range – and considers that a bargain, especially after having recently lived in Moscow, where prices are even more outrageous than here.

“The dollar is relatively weak against the euro. A million bucks in the U.S. is more like $800,000 in Europe, so we are basically saving 20 percent on the exchange rate when we come over from Europe to buy here,” he said.

Citakovic said he knows it would be hard to get a mortgage here, so he plans to pay all cash – thanks to a previous tech company he founded, he has the funds. Getting his money out of Serbia just involves a wire transfer.

After his company takes outside financing, he would be interested in investing in real estate here, Citakovic said. “I think it’s a good investment because it brings predictable cash flow,” he said. “There’s a very limited supply in San Francisco. The way it looks right now, it’s easy to sell and things are moving quickly in case you might need to pull the money out.”

Interest expected to decline

Meanwhile, Kolko expects foreign interest in U.S. real estate to decline in coming months as prices continue to climb.

“As prices start to rebound in the U.S., foreigners are searching here less since prices are no longer quite the bargain they had been a year ago,” Kolko said.

Where foreign house hunters come from

Canada and the United Kingdom were the most common countries of origin for foreign people searching for Bay Area real estate during the 12 months ended June 30. There was some regional variation among international searches targeting the various Bay Area counties. Countries are listed in order of where the most searches originated from.

Bay Area (all 9 counties)

— Canada

— United Kingdom

— Australia

— China

— France

— Germany

— India

— Hong Kong

— Taiwan

— Japan

Alameda

— Canada

— United Kingdom

— China

— Australia

— India

Contra Costa

— Canada

— United Kingdom

— India

— China

— Denmark

Marin

— United Kingdom

— Canada

— France

— Germany

— Australia

Napa

— Canada

— United Kingdom

— Australia

— France

— Japan

San Francisco

— Canada

— United Kingdom

— Australia

— France

— Germany

San Mateo

— Canada

— United Kingdom

— Hong Kong

— China

— Taiwan

Santa Clara

— Canada

— United Kingdom

— India

— China

— Taiwan

Solano

— Canada

— Philippines

— Germany

— United Kingdom

— Mexico

Sonoma

— Canada

— United Kingdom

— Germany

— Australia

— Mexico

Source: Trulia.com

Carolyn Said is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: csaid@sfchronicle.com

Short sellers may take a big hit on their credit scores, fairly or not

The issue arises now because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the dominant sources of home loan funds, recently outlined plans to approve short sales for underwater borrowers who are current on their loan payments, provided they face an imminent “hardship.” Though the numbers of participants in the plan won’t be known for months, the two companies combined have approximately 3.7 million underwater mortgages in their portfolios on which borrowers are making their payments on time, according to federal regulators.

Short sales traditionally have been associated with extended periods of delinquency by borrowers. The technique itself — where the lender agrees to accept less than what’s owed and the property is sold — usually has been employed as an alternative to foreclosure.

As a result, FICO credit scores — the major risk-predictive tool used in the mortgage industry — have severely penalized borrowers who opt for short sales. VantageScore, the FICO rival created by the three national credit bureaus, also hits short sellers with triple-digit-point losses.

In a recent blog post, Frederic Huynh, FICO’s senior scientist, said statistical reviews of short sellers by the company concluded that they “represent a high degree of risk” to lenders. More than 55 percent of short sellers in a sample of borrowers between 2007 and 2009 went on to later default on other credit accounts after completing the sale transaction. This ranks them in “the same heavyweight [risk] class” as people who have been foreclosed upon, who have filed for bankruptcyoe who had a tax lien or collection account.

But hold on. Won’t underwater homeowners who qualify for the upcoming short sale program be fundamentally different? Won’t they have solid mortgage-payment histories despite being underwater? Why should they have to take the same heavy hits to their scores earned by people who didn’t pay their mortgage for months on end?

Good questions, but it appears that these sellers won’t get the break they deserve. The current scoring system, credit experts say, isn’t set up to recognize — or properly report — short sales by on-time mortgage customers to the national credit bureaus. And the credit score companies aren’t currently planning to make any changes to the penalties their models assign to people who participate in short sales.

Anthony Sprauve, a spokesman for Fair Isaac Corp., developer of the FICO score, says that “in general,” when a “loan [is] paid off for less than the full balance,” it is “classified as a severe negative item” by the FICO scoring model. And “there are currently no plans to change,” Sprauve added.

Sarah Davies, senior vice president for research and analytics for VantageScore Solutions, said in an interview that her company won’t likely modify its scoring algorithms either, even if the seller was not delinquent and came to a mutually satisfactory resolution with the lender.

Terry Clemans, executive director of the National Credit Reporting Association, an industry trade group, says this is all inherently “unfair” for borrowers who have continued to make timely payments on their loans. Crushing them with deep credit score penalties “doesn’t reflect the fact that these people are actually excellent credit risks. They simply encountered an extraordinary situation” — namely, the national home-value bust — that put them underwater.

A Fannie Mae spokesman, Andrew Wilson, said his company has no control over how short sales — whether of people who paid on time or those who didn’t — are scored. However, when borrowers do a short sale rather than force the lender to foreclose, Fannie rewards them: They are potentially eligible for a new mortgage again within two years after a short sale. People who go to foreclosure, by contrast, may not be able to get a new Fannie loan for up to seven years.

Bottom line: At the moment, if you’re underwater and plan to use the new Fannie-Freddie short sale program later this year, don’t bank on any special favors when it comes to your credit score. It looks as though you’re going to have to take a big hit, despite all your on-time payments.

Ken Harney’s -mail address is kenharney@earthlink.net.

Freddie Mac Extends Mortgage Relief To Borrowers Affected By Hurricane Isaac

/PRNewswire/ — Freddie Mac’s (OTC: FMCC) full menu of relief policies for borrowers affected by disaster is being extended to homeowners whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Isaac and are located in Louisiana and Mississippi jurisdictions that the President has declared to be Major Disaster Areas and where he has made federal Individual Assistance programs available to affected individuals and households. Freddie Mac is one of the nation’s largest investors in residential mortgages.

“Freddie Mac has authorized the nation’s mortgage servicers to provide a full range of mortgage relief options to affected borrowers with mortgages owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac,” said Tracy Mooney, Senior Vice President of Single-Family Servicing and Real Estate Owned at Freddie Mac. “Forbearance on mortgage payments for up to one year is one of several options our servicers have been instructed to offer borrowers on a case-by-case basis.”

Freddie Mac disaster relief policies provide a number of ways for mortgage servicers to help affected borrowers in the Major Disaster Areas where federal Individual Assistance programs have been extended.

Freddie Mac strongly encourages servicers to help affected borrowers with Freddie Mac-owned loans by:

  • Suspending foreclosure and eviction proceedings for up to 12 months;
  • Waiving assessments of penalties or late fees against borrowers with disaster-damaged homes; and
  • Not reporting forbearance or delinquencies caused by the disaster to the nation’s credit bureaus.

For more information on mortgage payment relief, homeowners should contact their mortgage servicer – the company to which they send their monthly mortgage payment – or call Freddie Mac at 800-FREDDIE.  Freddie Mac’s general disaster relief policies are posted online at http://www.freddiemac.com/singlefamily/service/disastermgmt.html

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation’s residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Today Freddie Mac is making home possible for one in four homebuyers and is one of the largest sources of financing for multifamily housing. www.FreddieMac.com.

SOURCE Freddie Mac

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