Fannie revamps rules on delinquent loans

WASHINGTON – June 8, 2011 – Fannie Mae recently announced new rules that will require mortgage servicers to act more quickly and consistently in helping troubled homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Fannie told servicers they must strive to build a “strong customer service relationship,” better understand why the borrower is missing payments, and educate them on ways to prevent foreclosure.

“We want homeowners to be able to understand their options when facing foreclosure, and we want servicers to reach homeowners early in the process, communicate frequently and clearly, and help them avoid foreclosure,” says Jeff Hayward, senior vice president of Fannie Mae’s national servicing organization.

Also among the revamped guidelines, Fannie told servicers they will be required to contact homeowners verbally and in writing within 120 days after a loan first becomes delinquent. They will need to try to complete a loan modification or other option that keeps the borrower in their home or helps the borrower avoid the foreclosure process.

If foreclosure is unavoidable, servicers will need to follow a clear timeline and must begin the foreclosure process once a loan has been delinquent for more than 120 days. Servicers also must make it clear when a property in the foreclosure process will be sold.

Source: “Fannie Mae Updates Rules on Delinquent Loans,” Associated Press (June 6, 2011)

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