Friday, July 9, 2010

foreclosure help

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Two years into the housing crash, Fannie Mae just now announced a war on strategic defaulters:

WASHINGTON, DC — Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE) announced today policy changes designed to encourage borrowers to work with their servicers and pursue alternatives to foreclosure. Defaulting borrowers who walk-away and had the capacity to pay or did not complete a workout alternative in good faith will be ineligible for a new Fannie Mae-backed mortgage loan for a period of seven years from the date of foreclosure. Borrowers who have extenuating circumstances may be eligible for new loan in a shorter timeframe.

Fannie Mae will also take legal action to recoup the outstanding mortgage debt from borrowers who strategically default on their loans in jurisdictions that allow for deficiency judgments. In an announcement next month, the company will be instructing its servicers to monitor delinquent loans facing foreclosure and put forth recommendations for cases that warrant the pursuit of deficiency judgments.

Troubled borrowers who work with their servicers, and provide information to help the servicer assess their situation, can be considered for foreclosure alternatives, such as a loan modification, a short sale, or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. A borrower with extenuating circumstances who works out one of these options with their servicer could be eligible for a new mortgage loan in three years and in as little as two years depending on the circumstances.

It's an dramatic move for the much-maligned company. But first of all, the plan sounds too vague to result in many prosecutions.

Second, the war on default is a terrible market indicator. Fannie Mae is worried about an increase in strategic defaults, which is caused by and contributes to a fall in prices. Indeed, that's what's been happening all spring, as home values keep dropping in many markets.

Don't miss: 14 Reasons To Fear The Growing Mortgage Bubble

Mike Fuljenz Mike Fuljenz

South Florida Foreclosure Workshop by Roy Oppenheim

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