The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to develop ‘enhanced and aligned strategies’ for facilitating short sales, deeds-in-lieu and deeds-for-lease in order to help more homeowners avoid foreclosure. The effort will come in stages, with the first taking place this June. The new, aligned timelines include the requirement that mortgage servicers review and respond to requests for short sales within 30 calendar days from receipt of a short sale offer.
‘FHFA and the enterprises are committed to enhancing the short sales and deeds-in-lieu process as additional tools to prevent foreclosure, keep homes occupied and help maintain stable communities,’ says FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco. ‘These timeline and borrower communication announcements set minimum standards and provide clear expectations regarding these important foreclosure alternatives.’
With the alignment, servicers will be required to review and respond to requests for short sales within 30 calendar days from receipt of a short sale offer and a complete borrower response package. Servicers will also be required to provide weekly status updates to the borrower if the short sale offer is still under review after 30 calendar days, and to make and communicate final decisions to the borrower within 60 calendar days of receipt of the offer and complete borrower response package.
By the end of this year, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are expected to announce additional enhancements addressing borrower eligibility and evaluation, documentation simplification, property valuation, fraud mitigation, payments to subordinate lien holders, and mortgage insurance.