Military Homeowners Safeguarded Against Foreclosure

by Chris Birk on January 4, 2011

Some homeowners are foreclosure-proof.

Service members borrowing mortgages backed by Freddie Mac and who will lose active duty status through 2011 won’t have to worry about foreclosure. Freddie Mac gave an edict to servicers to freeze foreclosures on eligible service members for at least nine months.

As a government-backed purchaser of mortgage loans, Freddie Mac made the move to help service members catch up on payments. Even though it does not issue loans to borrowers, Freddie Mac buys mortgages in the secondary market. Postponing foreclosures is one of the available options for mortgage relief through the Servicemember Civil Relief Act.

With this edict, lenders need Freddie Mac’s approval before they put a service member’s mortgage in foreclosure.

Lenders still have the right to apply interest rate caps at six percent. These rates are designed to account for service members’ active duty duration and one year after the release from active duty.

In a press release Freddie Mac’s executive vice president of Single Family Portfolio Management, Anthony Renzi, said, “Our military make sacrifices every day to protect our homes and families. This small act will protect financially troubled service members when they return from active duty by giving them more time to work with their lender to stay in their home.”

Freddie Mac’s foreclosure relief mimics a move made by Fannie Mae in September. Fannie Mae announced then that it would reduce or halt mortgage payments for military families in financial trouble as a result of a service member’s injury or death. Fannie Mae’s suspension of mortgage payments can last up to six months compared to Freddie Mac’s nine-month minimum.

Active-duty borrowers and veterans alike should contact their mortgage lender whether they’re having trouble making payments now or foresee such a challenge in the near future. VA loan borrowers can contact the nearest VA loan center to discuss more mortgage relief options.

Freddie Mac’s webpage covers the options available to service members for mortgage relief.

Photo thanks to Truthout.org under creative common license on Flickr.

Chris Birk is director of content and communications for Military United, one of the nation’s leading financial services providers for service members and their families. His work has appeared in dozens of publications, from the Chicago Sun-Times and Insurance Journal to Motley Fool and About.com.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

dennis hartman June 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I an a retired service member, and I am one payment behind on my FHA loan. Besides trying to catch up on it what service is available to me.

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Audrey Beebe June 9, 2011 at 11:19 am

There are some things that can help. Read this page;
http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/docs/foreclosure_avoidance_fact_sheet.pdf

Especially the part entitled ”
Assistance to Veterans with VA-Guaranteed Home Loan”
you will also find a link to the contact centers. I wish you the best in solving your situation!

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