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Freddie Mac offers mortgage relief to borrowers hurt by Hurricane Irene

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Freddie Mac is suspending foreclosure and eviction proceedings up to 12 months for distressed homeowners with property damaged by Hurricane Irene. Other initiatives designed to help impacted borrowers include waiving assessments of penalties and late fees against borrowers with damaged properties, and forbearance in reporting delinquencies caused by the disaster to credit bureaus. "Freddie Mac has authorized the nation's mortgage servicers to provide a full range of mortgage relief options to affected borrowers with mortgages owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac," said Anthony Renzi, executive vice president of single-family business, operations and technology at Freddie Mac. "Forbearance on mortgage payments for up to one year are among the options our servicers have been instructed to offer borrowers on a case-by-case basis," he said. As part of the plan, Freddie Mac is giving mortgage servicers enough discretion to reduce or suspend mortgage payments for the established 12-month period for those facing damages from the tragedy. After the Category 2 storm pushed through the Northeast, paving a flood path from Virginia up to Vermont, the National Association of Realtors is using Irene as an incentive to extend the National Flood Insurance Program, which expires Sept. 30. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.

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