Sunday, August 1, 2010
Fannie Mae's Strategic Default Policy
Fannie Mae says the policy change is designed to encourage borrowers to work with their servicers and pursue alternatives to foreclosure. While a bold attempt at preventing unnecessary foreclosures, the analysts at Moody’s Investors Service argue that the GSE may encounter snags ahead since figuring out who to penalize for strategically walking away will be a significant challenge and implementing the policy could be difficult.
Previously, the GSE barred homeowners who’d been foreclosed on from obtaining a new mortgage for five years. However, Fannie Mae’s new policy extends the foreclosure-waiting period to seven years unless the borrower can prove that they faced extenuating circumstances when they defaulted on the loan.
For borrowers who can prove hardship or document that they attempted to contact their servicer to obtain a loan workout, the waiting period could be reduced to as little as three years. For borrowers who attempt to “gracefully exit” their mortgage obligation by means of a short sale or a deed in lieu may only have to wait two years to obtain a new Fannie Mae mortgage.
Fannie Mae also said it will pursue deficiency judgments against strategic defaulters more aggressively in cases where it has the legal authority to do so. Moody’s says this tactic is likely to be a more effective tool for discouraging walk-aways than the extended waiting period for a new mortgage.
fannie mae retained counsel list