Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are accelerating the implementation of the streamlined modification program in response to a request from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to assist homeowners impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
New York lawmakers and officials demanded that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac change their guidelines for handling borrowers affected by the super storm when the forbearance period ends on their mortgages.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and The New York State Department of Financial Services sent letters to the heads of the government-sponsored enterprises, as well as the Federal Housing Finance Agency, urging them to change existing policies that could result in large spikes in Sandy victim's mortgage payments, the Cuomo Administration alleged last month.
"I applaud Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency for acting swiftly and unveiling this new program to protect Sandy victims from sudden mortgage payment spikes," Governor Cuomo said. "Delivering this additional relief is vital to helping ensure Sandy victims can continue to rebuild and recover in the wake of this terribly damaging storm."
People that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy qualify for a streamlined modification and underneath the program announced, homeowners can be offered the program without financial documentation.
However, before the streamline mod program was announced, Fannie Mae told servicers that they could evaluate and offer streamline mod programs to those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy and give forbearance, Andrew Wilson, spokesperson for the enterprise explained to HousingWire.
"We want people who are affected by the storm to have the help that is best suited for them and get it quickly, so that’s why the streamline mod was offered by the servicers to them," he said.
On a similar note, Brad German, a spokesperson for Freddie Mac, told HousingWire the program will include disaster areas in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.
"We appreciate the opportunity to work with Governor Cuomo and Superintendent Lawsky to help ensure Hurricane Sandy victims with Freddie Mac mortgages can access all of the best options available for mortgage relief," he said.