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Freddie Mac extends appraisal-free mortgage program to purchase loans

Creates “better experience” for lenders and homebuyers

Freddie Mac announced Friday it is making buying a home a better experience for lender and homebuyers – by cutting the appraiser out of the process.

The company is now offering a new product which will cut the appraisal process out of qualified home purchases and refinances. This could save borrowers an estimated $500 in fees and could reduce closing times by as much as 10 days.

The new Automated Collateral Evaluation assesses the need for a traditional appraisal by using proprietary models and utilizing data from multiple listing services and public records as well as the historical home values in order to determine collateral risks.

“By leveraging big data and advanced analytics, as well as 40+ years of historical data, we're cutting costs and speeding up the closing process for borrowers,” said David Lowman, Freddie Mac executive vice president of single-family business.

“At the same time, we're providing immediate collateral representation and warranty relief to lenders,” Lowman said. “This is just one example of how we are reimagining the mortgage process to create a better experience for consumers and lenders.”

Lenders can determine if a property is eligible for ACE by submitting the data through Freddie’s loan product advisor. This will then assess credit, capacity and collateral to determine the quality of the loan. Lenders will receive the risk assessment feedback in real time.

ACE will be available for home purchases beginning on September 1, 2017.

Earlier this summer, the company announced it began using this product on qualified refis beginning June 19, 2017.

“When we launched loan advisor suite in July 2016, we set out to give our customers certainty, usability, reliability and efficiency,” said Andy Higginbotham, senior vice president of strategic delivery and operations for Freddie Mac's single-family business. “ACE is our most recent capability to deliver on that vision."

Fannie Mae also updated its policy on appraisals this year, and clarified its “existing policy that allows an unlicensed or uncertified appraiser, or an appraiser trainee to complete the property inspection. When the unlicensed or uncertified appraiser or appraiser trainee completes the property inspection, the supervisory appraiser is not required to also inspect the property.”

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