On September 3, Fannie Mae announced that it was increasing its maximum number of allowable days for a foreclosure sale in 33 states. And, immediately thereafter, Freddie Mac also announced that it is increasing the maximum number of allowable days for foreclosure proceedings in those same 33 states.
Both also announced that the new foreclosure timelines apply to all foreclosure sales completed on or after Aug. 1, 2015.
What does the announcement mean for homeowners facing foreclosure?
Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have servicing guides; these are extremely regimented written policies and procedures that are provided to servicing companies. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac expect that those companies who service the notes owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will adhere to those policies and procedures. Essentially, these guides provide a framework for processing of any loans in default.
In the most recent announcements of extended foreclosure timelines, the maximum number of allowable days specifically represents the maximum allowable period between the due date of the last paid installment and the completion of the foreclosure sale. (View the extended timelines here: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.)
But, what does this mean for homeowners? Does it mean that those facing foreclosure don’t need to consider their options or prepare an exit strategy?
The truth is that it doesn’t mean much. These announcements have more to do with providing written policy to servicing companies and addressing protocols. State laws with regard to foreclosure have not changed as a result of this announcement and those homeowners facing foreclosure need to have a plan.
Who owns the loan? Look it up:
Not all of these homes have mortgages owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. If you want to know whether Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owns your mortgage or that of your client, you can use the loan lookup tools on each of their websites.
According to information available on RealtyTrac, there are currently 814,859 properties in the United States that are in some form of foreclosure (default, auction, or bank-owned). Additionally, RealtyTrac stats show that there are approximately 1,350,000 currently homes available for sale across the nation.
The market has changed a great deal since the height of the recession. These new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announcements specifically address processing times, which have always been a concern to defaulted homeowners and the real estate professionals who specialize in the distressed property arena.