Fannie Extends Mortgage Relief to Unemployed

Fannie Mae says it will be providing more mortgage aid to the unemployed, possibly extending the forbearance period to up to a year to those who qualify.

Starting on March 1, Fannie Mae will require mortgage servicers to extend the forbearance relief to qualified unemployed borrowers for six months — without any approval needed from Fannie Mae. The government-sponsored enterprise also says special consideration will be made for some borrowers in suspending mortgage payments or reducing them for up to a 12-month period.

Fannie’s announcement follows on the heels of Freddie Mac’s announcement earlier this week about similar changes to its mortgage relief program for the unemployed. Freddie Mac announced it will begin offering a 12-month forbearance period to qualified unemployed borrowers starting on Feb. 1.

To qualify, mortgage servicers will determine if the “borrower has less than 12 months worth of mortgage payments in reserves and has monthly housing expenses above 31 percent of their incomes before extending a forbearance plan,” HousingWire reports.

During the third quarter of 2011, the GSEs issued more than 7,000 forbearance plans, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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