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.
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