NATNews Blog > August 2017 > Fannie, Freddie announce assistance to homeowners impacted by Hurricane Harvey

    Fannie, Freddie announce assistance to homeowners impacted by Hurricane Harvey

    8/29/2017 12:49:06 PM
    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced they have put plans in place to temporarily suspend foreclosures and evictions in an effort to ease the burden facing homeowners affected by Hurricane Harvey.

    Fannie Mae
    Fannie Mae announced it will implement a 90-day foreclosure sale suspension and a 90-day eviction suspension for borrowers with properties located within a FEMA- declared disaster area that are eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance.
     
    “Our thoughts are with the families in the path of this powerful and catastrophic storm. We continue to monitor the situation in the affected areas. The storm, while weakened, continues in many areas and it is simply too early to provide any data or assessment about the scale or scope of damage resulting from Hurricane Harvey,” said Carlos Perez, Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer at Fannie Mae. “Preliminary assessments of actual damage at this point may be inaccurate and potentially misleading. We will continue to work with our Single-Family servicers to communicate our policies and ensure borrowers have access to the information and resources they need to help manage their housing challenges. We also continue to work with our Multifamily DUS lenders and borrowers to determine appropriate actions to assist renters impacted by the storm.”
     
    In addition to the foreclosure and eviction moratorium, homeowners impacted by Hurricane Harvey may qualify for a forbearance, a temporary suspension or reduction of their mortgage payment for up to six months. Homeowners with Fannie Mae loans are eligible for free information and assistance through the Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Network or by telephone at (800) 232-6643. To find out if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae, visit www.knowyouroptions.com.
     
    Freddie Mac
    Freddie Mac said it is suspending evictions and foreclosures on homes that are secured by Freddie Mac owned or guaranteed mortgages in eligible disaster areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey. In addition, Freddie Mac will be working with servicers to ensure that no property inspection costs resulting directly from Hurricane Harvey will be passed on to the affected borrowers.
     
    In consultation with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Freddie Mac is requiring servicers to take additional steps to help homeowners in presidentially-declared major disaster areas where federal individual assistance programs are offered to affected individuals and households. A list of these areas can be found on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's web site.
     
    "We're committed to ensuring that homeowners receive the mortgage assistance they need to overcome the devastating tragedy of Hurricane Harvey," said Yvette Gilmore, Freddie Mac's Vice President of Single-Family Servicer Performance Management. "Once they're out of harm's way, homeowners should contact their servicers -- the company to which they send their monthly mortgage payments. They may be eligible for forbearance on mortgage payments for up to one year if their mortgage is owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac."
     
    As a result of Hurricane Harvey, Freddie Mac has revised its disaster relief policies to authorize mortgage servicers to:
    • Automatically suspend evictions and foreclosure sales for 90 days for borrowers with Freddie Mac owned or guaranteed mortgages whose homes are located in eligible disaster areas. Borrowers are still encouraged to contact their servicers to discuss their situations. Freddie Mac's disaster policies enable servicers to extend forbearance and repayment plans for up to 12 months on a case-by-case basis without prior Freddie Mac approval for borrowers whose homes or places of employment are located in eligible disaster areas.
    • Authorize servicers to verbally grant 90-day forbearances to all borrowers whose homes or places of employment are located in eligible disaster areas, including borrowers with mortgages that have been previously modified or are in a modification trial period plan.
     
    These additional disaster policy changes are scheduled to be sent to Freddie Mac servicers in a Guide Bulletin that will be issued today.
     
    "We're also working with servicers to ensure that no property inspection costs will be passed on to affected borrowers," Gilmore added.
     
    On Aug. 25, Freddie Mac confirmed its disaster relief policies authorizing mortgage servicers to help affected borrowers whose homes or places of employment are located in presidentially declared major disaster areas where federal individual assistance programs have been extended.
     
    These options include:
    • Suspending foreclosures by providing forbearance 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.