Friday, September 3, 2010

Fannie Mae Says Foreclosure Delays Represent a Breach by the Servicer

The nation's largest mortgage company is about to start cracking down on servicers for letting delinquent loans languish too long without action. Fannie Mae has issued a notice alerting servicers that it is monitoring all delinquent loans to ensure foreclosures are handled within an acceptable time frame, and may assess penalties for poor servicer performance. By the tone of Fannie's announcement, the GSE wants these nonperformers off its books as quickly as possible.

Fannie says it will be keeping tabs on all whole mortgages, participation pool mortgages, and MBS pool mortgages with a special servicing option referred to an attorney or trustee to initiate foreclosure proceedings on or after July 1, 2010. Company officials will be scrutinizing servicer data to identify delays in the default management process.

According to the GSE, it may elect to perform a more extensive servicing review – possibly on-site – to further evaluate the actions the servicer took on certain mortgage loans. Servicers must send the requested documentation or make it available…within the time frame specified in the notification. If the servicer fails to do so, Fannie Mae may assess compensatory fees without first reviewing the loan or exercise other available remedies, the GSE warned.

Effective with the date of this Announcement, any mortgage loan referred to an attorney (or trustee) to initiate foreclosure proceedings with properties located in the States of Florida, Maryland, Nevada, and New York must meet the new foreclosure time frames noted below:

• Florida – 185 days

This timeline has an additional 35 days added to allow for a mediation referral prior to a foreclosure suit being commenced.

• Maryland – 90 days

This timeline begins when the case is referred to an attorney to file suit together with a Loss Mitigation Affidavit. The servicer must execute a Final Loss Mitigation Affidavit at the commencement of the case, if appropriate. If a Preliminary Loss Mitigation Affidavit is required, then the time frame allowed will be extended to 120 days.

• Nevada – 150 days

• New York (Upstate) – 300 days

• New York (Downstate) – 420 days

In the State of New York, a timeline of 300 days applies to all localities except for New York City and Long Island.

A timeline of 420 days applies for foreclosures conducted in the five boroughs of New York City — Bronx, Brooklyn (Kings County), Manhattan (New York County), Queens, and Staten Island (Richmond County) — and on Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties).