Fannie Mae will no longer require mortgage servicers and attorneys in Florida to determine whether a borrower is eligible for a meeting with the bank before filing a foreclosure beginning in October.
The government-sponsored enterprise developed the policy in August 2010 after the Florida Supreme Court required servicers to meet with delinquent borrowers in active foreclosure suits.
Since then, the foreclosure process bogged down both because of new requirements in the judicial state and crackdowns on several law firms committing unlawful short cuts. According to the second-quarter Freddie Mac filing, the average time it takes to foreclose in Florida is longer than 1,000 days.
Fannie said that borrowers who opted into the program before Oct. 1 will still be allowed to complete counseling and attend mediation sessions. But the GSE found the program overlaps with its effort to reach borrowers before delinquency.
"The objectives of reaching borrowers in the earlier stages of delinquency and avoiding a lengthy judicial foreclosure process are the same goals that the company is seeking to achieve through operating its Florida Mortgage Help Centers, in conducting Florida borrower outreach events, and through the alignment of practices related to servicing delinquent mortgages led by the Federal Housing Finance Agency," according to the alert sent to servicers.
Roughly 11% of the seriously delinquent loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae back homes in Florida, the largest share of any state, according to its latest financial filing.