Fannie, Freddie Roll Out Joint Docs
Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) , two of the nation's largest sources of financing for residential mortgages, announced today the new jointly developed master and short form uniform security instruments. The downloadable forms, for use in 27 U.S. states, will permit recording of a master form mortgage or deed of trust as well as provide short forms that reference the master to document individual loans. Both companies say the new short form mortgage can be a quarter of the length of the current security instrument forms, portending a significant savings in closing costs wherever recordation fees are based on the number of pages that are recorded. For years, many states have had statutes that allow originating lenders to record a master form mortgage or deed of trust in a given recording district and then to record a short form mortgage or deed of trust for each mortgage loan subsequently originated and recorded in that district. The short form contains the loan-specific information (e.g., borrower name, lender name, loan amount, description of property, etc.) and identifies the provisions of the master form that are being incorporated into the short form. A copy of the recorded master must be provided to the borrower. Both companies say the new jointly-developed forms underscore a commitment to reducing borrower closing costs. For example, in Ohio, county recorders charge $28 for the first two pages and $8 for each additional page. Since the new master and short form is three pages long and the current form is 16 pages long, it could potentially trim recording fees in that state from an estimated $148 to $36. "Today's announcement is another example of our commitment to bring greater efficiency to the mortgage industry and make homeownership affordable for more families," said Marianne Sullivan, senior vice president of Fannie Mae. "We are pleased to offer the uniform master form and short form mortgage documents to our lender partners. These documents are a tool that will allow lenders to better serve their borrowers, help streamline the process and save money in recording costs." Once the jointly developed forms are available, the two companies said they plan to provide lenders with easy-to-download state-specific versions along with instructions for use. The forms are expected to be available beginning early spring of this year. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac anticipate the master and short form security instruments will be available for use in the following 27 states which have master and short form statutes: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Additional Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac joint forms will be added as other states adopt similar statutes, the companies said. "Today's announcement means lenders in many states can record a master form that will reduce closing costs and make homeownership that much more affordable in their communities," said Paul Mullings, senior vice president of Freddie Mac. "By agreeing to purchase mortgages using the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac short form security instrument, we are fulfilling our mission to foster homeownership by giving lenders new opportunities to make the process of getting a mortgage more efficient and less expensive than ever." The loan documents developed jointly by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac include the state-specific master form for recordation -- typically a title page attached to the state-specific Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Uniform Security Instrument. Also provided is the state-specific short form mortgage or deed of trust to be used with each mortgage loan that contains loan-specific information and incorporates by reference the provisions of the recorded master. The short form is executed by the borrower and recorded. For more information, visit http://www.fanniemae.com and http://www.freddiemac.com.