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Freddie Mac provides mortgage forbearance for victims of southern storms

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Freddie Mac will provide borrowers affected by recent storms in the South with a forbearance on mortgage payments for up to one year. Violent storms and tornadoes struck seven states last week, resulting in as many as 345 deaths, according to the latest reports, while injuring more than 1,000 and devastating entire communities. President Obama declared dozens of counties a disaster area. Freddie Mac said the assistance will be determined on a loan-by-loan basis. The government-sponsored enterprise also urged servicers to suspend foreclosure and eviction proceedings for up to one year, waive late fees and penalties, and not report the forbearance or delinquency caused by the disaster. The Department of Housing and Urban Development also provided relief last week, granting a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. "Freddie Mac and the nation's mortgage servicers will work together to advance available mortgage relief to homeowners affected by these devastating storms," said Anthony Renzi, Freddie Mac executive vice president of single-family business. In December, Freddie Mac CEO Charles "Ed" Haldeman told HousingWire forbearance, as an option in loss mitigation, is not currently as popular as mortgage modifications or even short sales, but still one Freddie considers highly useful. Haldeman is giving a fireside chat with HousingWire editor, Jacob Gaffney, next week at the REthink Symposium. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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