The recommendations came in a new strategic plan for Fannie and Freddie submitted to lawmakers Tuesday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which has overseen the companies since they were put into government conservatorship in 2008 to avoid their failure.
Fannie and Freddie have almost single-handedly kept the housing finance market afloat in recent years. Together, they guarantee about $100 billion a month in mortgages, an amount that represents about 75 percent of all new home loans. Read More.
Since the market downturn several years ago lawmakers in Washington have been talking about reforming the secondary mortgage market but nothing has come out of Congress yet. This year, though, a lot of progress is expected to be made toward reform, so it will be especially important for real estate brokers and sales associates to stay engaged in what’s happening, particularly this spring. Read More.
Mortgage finance firm Freddie Mac will give unemployed borrowers a break on their mortgage for up to one year.
“These expanded forbearance periods will provide families facing prolonged periods of unemployment with a greater measure of security by giving them more time to find new employment and resolve their delinquencies,” said Tracy Mooney, senior vice president of single-family servicing and REO at Freddie Mac. Read More.
Bank of America is looking at a new program to rent a home back to the borrower after foreclosure.
In February, BofA formed a division to handle the servicing for delinquent mortgages, loans no longer being written, and to sort out outstanding representation and warranty claims. Currently, more than 35,000 employees at the bank are sorting through 1.1 million loans 60 days delinquent or worse, according to its third-quarter financial statement.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency is working on an REO rental program for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It received more than 4,000 ideas on how to do it. Read More.
The purpose of the affidavit is to prevent fraud by requiring the buyer, the seller, the real estate brokers, the escrow/closing agent, and any transaction facilitator to make various certifications (including that the short sale is an arm’s length transaction and the buyer will not resell within 120 days unless there are substantial improvements). Servicers are required to implement the changes by Jan. 1, 2012, but are encouraged to do so immediately. Each servicer covered by the policy must update its forms to comply with the revised policy. Read More.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have released highly anticipated guidelines for the revised Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).
Both GSEs have posted details of the program modifications and procedural changes on their respective business sites for mortgage servicers to follow (Fannie’s, Freddie’s).
Among the key program revisions, the GSEs have eliminated or raised the loan-to-value (LTV) cap, and relaxed representation and warranty stipulations – changes that officials expect to at least double the number of homeowners with a HARP-refinanced mortgage. Since the program was launched in 2009, just under 900,000 borrowers have participated. Read More.
More than 25,300 repossessed homes held by Freddie Mac sold in the third quarter, down 13.5% from the nearly 30,000 in the previous three months. It was also a 17% decline from the record-setting 31,600 sold in the first quarter.
At the same time Freddie unloaded the 25,300 REO, it repossessed another 24,300 homes back into the inventory. At the end of the quarter, Freddie held 60,000 REO on its books, which has been trimmed — as new foreclosures are completed — from 75,000 one year ago. Read More.
Federal regulators on Monday plan to unveil a major overhaul of an under-used mortgage-refinance program designed to help millions of Americans whose home values have tumbled.
The plan is the latest White House effort to deal with one of the most critical impediments to economic recovery—a stagnant housing market caused in part by a surfeit of homeowners who are unable to refinance.
The overhaul will, among other things, let borrowers refinance regardless of how far their homes have fallen in value, eliminating previous limits. That could open up refinancing to legions of borrowers in Nevada, Arizona, Florida, California and elsewhere who are paying high interest rates and are deeply “underwater,” owing more than their houses are worth. President Barack Obama is expected to tout the program in Las Vegas on Monday. Read More.
The federal agency that oversees the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is set to file suits against more than a dozen big banks, accusing them of misrepresenting the quality of mortgage securities they assembled and sold at the height of the housing bubble, and seeking billions of dollars in compensation.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency suits, which are expected to be filed in the coming days in federal court, are aimed at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, among others, according to three individuals briefed on the matter.
The suits stem from subpoenas the finance agency issued to banks a year ago. Read More.
Freddie Mac’s HomeSteps unit is offering cash to buyers willing to purchase one of its foreclosed condos that has been lingering on the market. HomeSteps is hoping to unload some of its high inventory of foreclosed condos through the incentive program, known as HomeSteps Condo Cash.
Through the “Condo Cash” program, condo buyers of HomeSteps properties can get up to $1,500 to help pay for standard home owner association dues.
The offer is only valid to owner-occupant buyers and on HomeStep condos that have been on the market for at least 120 days. To participate, buyers must submit offers between Aug. 15 and Nov. 15, and close escrow by Dec. 30. Read More.