Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate News - GSEs Adopt HAFA Guidelines

GSEs Adopt HAFA Guidelines

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now allowing struggling homeowners with loans backed by the government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, to sell their properties through a Short Sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure if they can't get a loan modification, officials announced this week.

GSE loans were excluded from the Treasury's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program's guidelines, which went into effect in April. HAFA, which streamlines the Short Sale process, was created to help both homeowners and banks avoid foreclosure.

To be eligible for HAFA, Fannie and Freddie loans must first qualify for and enroll in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). GSE loans are eligible for HAFA only after HAMP and other home-retention options have failed.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae servicers must comply with the new HAFA procedures by Aug. 1; the program expires Dec. 31, 2012.

Here's an excerpt from a DSNews article detailing the new GSE procedures:

Fannie Mae's HAFA servicing guide stipulates that, "All servicers must implement Fannie Mae's HAFA for all conventional mortgage loans that are held in Fannie Mae's portfolio, that are part of an MBS [mortgage-backed securities] pool that has the special servicing option, or that are part of a shared-risk MBS pool for which Fannie Mae markets the acquired property."

Freddie Mac's HAFA servicing bulletin specifies, "First-lien mortgages owned, guaranteed, or securitized by Freddie Mac that were originated on or before January 1, 2009."

The GSEs will pay financial incentives to both servicers and borrowers who make use of a short sale or a deed-in-lieu to avoid a foreclosure on a HAMP-eligible loan. Servicers will receive $2,200 for every HAFA short sale and $1,500 for every HAFA deed-in-lieu completed. Borrowers are entitled to an incentive payment of $3,000 to assist with relocation expenses.

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