Good News for Unemployed Homeowners

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae announce mortgage forbearance extension

In another move geared to moving the housing market recovery along, the two major mortgage players, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, last week announced expanded relief programs for homeowners struggling with their loans due to joblessness. The thought that relieving some of the stress from the combination of joblessness and mortgage obligations will make it easier for distressed and out-of-work homeowners to focus on finding a new job and getting back on track with their home loan.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Forbearance for Jobless now 12 Months

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae now allow mortgage companies to grant unemployed borrowers payment suspension or reduction for up to 12 months. Previously, the maximum length for mortgage forbearance on Freddie Mac guaranteed loans was six months, with written approval from Freddie Mac.

FHA Forbearance was extended to 12 months last July

The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) made a similar move six months ago, in July 2011, when it mandated that mortgage companies offer 12 months of forbearance to qualified unemployed borrowers — up from a prior maximum of four months.

Nearly 60% of Outstanding Mortgages Backed by Fannie, Freddie and the FHA

The announcement from Freddie and Fannie impacts far more homeowners than did the FHA’s announcement last July — Freddie and Fannie together guarantee nearly half of all U.S. home loans, while the FHA backs less than 10 percent.

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