New foreclosure rules force Fannie to up attorney fees in three states
Fannie Mae will allow its servicers to pay its network of attorneys more for foreclosure work in New York, Delaware and Hawaii. Each state recently included new steps in the foreclosure process. In the case of Hawaii, the state legislature effectively shifted all foreclosures to the judicial system. All pending Fannie Mae foreclosures that have not proceeded to a resale must be dismissed and restarted in the new judicial process, according to guidance issued to servicers Thursday. Fannie Mae warned servicers of this new policy in June. As a result, Fannie had to establish a new maximum foreclosure fee of $2,200 for attorneys. Only two firms make up the Hawaii attorney network for Fannie: RCO Hawaii and Clay, Chapman, Iwamura, Pulice & Nervell. "Due to potential title insurance issues, Fannie Mae may be required to eliminate certain recent acquisitions that resulted from nonjudicial foreclosures," Fannie said. "Upon being notified of any eliminations, servicers must immediately restart the matters as judicial foreclosures." Fannie increased the maximum allowable attorney fee for lawyers working in the states of New York and Delaware. The new foreclosure fee in New York climbed to $1,800 from $1,400. In New York City and Long Island, Fannie raised the fee to $2,200 from $2,000 per foreclosure. Fannie said it would reimburse servicers an additional $50 for every affirmation a New York firm must file on all cases referred to that firm between Sept. 1, 2009 and July 31, 2011. In Delaware, Fannie increased the maximum allowable attorney fee to $1,150 from $950. The new fees are effective for cases referred to an attorney on or after Aug. 1, 2011. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.