Tuesday, August 21, 2012

FHFA: New Short Sale Guidelines for Fannie and Freddie

by Calculated Risk on 8/21/2012 05:10:00 PM

From the FHFA: New Standard Short Sale Guidelines for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are issuing new, clear guidelines to their mortgage servicers that will align and consolidate existing short sales programs into one standard short sale program. The streamlined program rules will enable lenders and servicers to quickly and easily qualify eligible borrowers for a short sale.

The new guidelines, which go into effect Nov. 1, 2012, will permit a homeowner with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage to sell their home in a short sale even if they are current on their mortgage if they have an eligible hardship. Servicers will be able to expedite processing a short sale for borrowers with hardships such as death of a borrower or co-borrower, divorce, disability, or relocation for a job without any additional approval from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

“These new guidelines demonstrate FHFA’s and Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s commitment to enhancing and streamlining processes to avoid foreclosure and stabilize communities,” said FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco. “The new standard short sale program will also provide relief to those underwater borrowers who need to relocate more than 50 miles for a job.”
A few details:
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will waive the right to pursue deficiency judgments in exchange for a financial contribution when a borrower has sufficient income or assets to make cash contributions or sign promissory notes: Servicers will evaluate borrowers for additional capacity to cover the shortfall between the outstanding loan balance and the property sales price as part of approving the short sale.

Offer special treatment for military personnel with Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders: Service members who are being relocated will be automatically eligible for short sales, even if they are current on their existing mortgages, and will be under no obligation to contribute funds to cover the shortfall between the outstanding loan balance and the sales price on their homes.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer up to $6,000 to second lien holders to expedite a short sale. Previously, second lien holders could slow down the short sale process by negotiating for higher amounts.
Short sales are already more common than foreclosures in many areas, and these new guidelines will probably lead to an even higher percentage of short sales next year (compared to foreclosures).

More from Fannie Mae: Fannie Mae Announces New Short Sale Guidelines
Under the new guidelines, servicers will be permitted to approve a short sale for borrowers who have certain hardships but have not yet gone into default. Those hardships include the death of a borrower or co-borrower, divorce or legal separation, illness or disability or a distant employment transfer. In addition, Fannie Mae is significantly reducing the documentation required to complete a short sale, including requiring no documentation of a borrower’s hardship 90 days or more delinquent and have a credit score lower than 620. This will remove barriers for those homeowners who are most in danger of foreclosure and increase servicer efficiency in completing a short sale.

Fannie Mae will also limit subordinate-lien payments to $6,000. Previously, subordinate lien holders often attempted to negotiate higher payments. The servicer will be able to offer the maximum payment of $6,000 in order to facilitate the transaction. By setting a standard payout amount and a limit for every transaction, Fannie Mae is removing the guess work and standardizing the transaction to help accelerate the short sale process.

... Fannie Mae completed 38,717 short sales through the first six months of 2012 and 70,025 in full year 2011.