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Fannie and Freddie give green light to resume sales of foreclosures

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac gave real estate agents the green light to resume selling foreclosed homes, after suspending the process as the robo-signing debacle unfolded the past two months. Freddie told agents in a memo last week to "resume all normal sales activity," as the government-sponsored enterprise will "resume marketing, sales and disposing of assets previously placed 'on hold.'" Fannie Mae told its real estate agents "to proceed with scheduling and holding the closings" of sales of homes with mortgages owned or backed by the GSE. The mortgage-finance giants initially enacted a moratorium on sales of foreclosed properties because servicers were allegedly signing affidavits either without prior knowledge of the case or without a notary present — a phenomenon that became known as robo-signing. Many other lenders, including Ally Financial (GJM), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC), issued foreclosure moratoriums that have since been lifted. Bank of America started refiling new affidavits Oct. 25. A spokesperson for JPMorgan Chase said they have not started refiling and will do so state-by-state. The process should take three to four months. Ally Financial said it will move forward with a foreclosure in the 23 judicial states when it has reviewed and remediated the affidavit. Cook County, Ill., restarted foreclosure evictions two weeks ago. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently pulled their existing foreclosures cases from one Florida-based firm at the center of the robo-signing scandal, The Law Offices of David J. Stern. Write to Christine Ricciardi.

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