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Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac suspend foreclosures and evictions in wake of Hurricane Harvey

GSEs halt foreclosure efforts in affected areas for 90 days

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are extending additional relief to homeowners affected by the catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Last week, Fannie and Freddie announced a number of measures that mortgage servicers can take to aid borrowers whose homes were damaged by the storm, including mortgage forbearance and other options.

Now, with officials declaring that Harvey dumped more water on Texas than any storm in history, Fannie and Freddie announced Tuesday that each of the government-sponsored enterprises is suspending foreclosures and evictions in affected areas.

Specifically, each of the GSEs is implementing a 90-day foreclosure sale suspension and a 90-day eviction suspension on borrowers whose homes are located in eligible disaster areas.

Freddie Mac also said that it will be working with servicers to ensure that no property inspection costs resulting directly from Hurricane Harvey will be passed on to the affected borrowers.

“We’re committed to ensuring that homeowners receive the mortgage assistance they need to overcome the devastating tragedy of Hurricane Harvey,” Yvette Gilmore, Freddie Mac’s vice president of single-family servicer performance management, said. “Once they're out of harm's way, homeowners should contact their servicers – the company to which they send their monthly mortgage payments. They may be eligible for forbearance on mortgage payments for up to one year if their mortgage is owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac.”

Freddie Mac also said that it is authorizing mortgage servicers to verbally grant 90-day forbearances to “all borrowers whose homes or places of employment are located in eligible disaster areas, including borrowers with mortgages that have been previously modified or are in a modification trial period plan.”

Fannie Mae noted that homeowners impacted by Hurricane Harvey may qualify for a temporary suspension or reduction of their mortgage payment for up to six months.

“Our thoughts are with the families in the path of this powerful and catastrophic storm. We continue to monitor the situation in the affected areas. The storm, while weakened, continues in many areas and it is simply too early to provide any data or assessment about the scale or scope of damage resulting from Hurricane Harvey,” Carlos Perez, senior vice president and chief credit officer at Fannie Mae, said.

“Preliminary assessments of actual damage at this point may be inaccurate and potentially misleading,” Perez cautioned. “We will continue to work with our Single-Family servicers to communicate our policies and ensure borrowers have access to the information and resources they need to help manage their housing challenges.”

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