Monday, December 10, 2012

The Holiday Spirit

Happy Holidays from the Federal Government!   Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) are suspending evictions nationwide for the holiday season.  This is an annual occurrence that the GSEs have implemented since the foreclosure crisis began a couple of years ago.

This is a separate suspension than the one GSEs granted to eligible Super storm Sandy disaster areas.  Fannie Mae announced temporary suspension of foreclosure sales and evictions in areas designated for FEMA assistance due to Super Storm Sandy until February 1, 2013.

Fannie Mae will suspend evictions on foreclosed occupied single-family homes and two-to-four unit properties that had Fannie Mae mortgages from December 19, 2012 to January 2, 2013.  Freddie Mac will suspend evictions on the same types of properties that had Freddie Mac mortgages from December 17 to January 2, 2013.

Legal and administrative proceedings for evictions will continue during this time period, but the families residing in foreclosed properties will be allowed to remain in the homes during this period.  Homeowners facing foreclosure proceedings should not forget about ongoing proceedings or deadlines because those are not affected by the suspension.  Homeowners need to stay in contact with their foreclosure attorneys despite time off from work or school to make sure that they do not hinder their defense by failing to turn over documents or make court appearances.  

The housing market continues to show positive signs of improvement, but foreclosures continue to be a problem.  The third quarter numbers show that overall foreclosures are decreasing as new loan originations increase.  New house starts are also increasing as builders crank up their machines and get back to work.    

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae both seem to grasp the importance of spending time with family during the holidays.  Some homeowners might argue that it is just as stressful to face an eviction in July as it is in December, but the holiday season seems to grip the GSEs’ attention.  Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have a track record of suspending evictions in times of crisis.  Home ownership has long been an integral part of the American Dream.  These government entities along with the federal government work to open up home ownership to more and more people each year provided potential buyers qualify.  The government’s actions show that it understands that sometimes homeowners are hit with circumstances beyond their control.  The two quotes below from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae officials reflect their perspectives.

“We are instructing our foreclosure attorneys to suspending pending eviction lockouts on foreclosed homes in order to provide a greater measure of certainty to families during the holiday season,” according to Tracy Mooney, senior vice president of servicing and REO at Freddie Mac.

“The holidays are a chance to be with loved ones and we want to relieve some stress at this time of year.  We encourage homeowners having difficulty to reach out for help as soon as possible,” says Terry Edwards, Executive Vice President of Credit Portfolio Management, Fannie Mae.   

Despite the suspension if you are facing foreclosure, take action sooner rather than later to address the situation.

See Our Related Blog Posts:
The "Foreclosure Discount"
Waht is a Deed In Lieu of Foreclosure?

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