Friday, December 14, 2018

Foreclosure Evictions Postponed for the Holiday Season

Foreclosure activity continues in the Chicago area and throughout Illinois and the country, although foreclosure rates generally continue to decline. Indeed, a recent report from Business Wire indicated that serious delinquency rates were at their lowest in years, but 4.4% of mortgages remain at “some stage of delinquency.” In other words, more than 4% of mortgages are anywhere from 30 days past due to at the point of foreclosure eviction or foreclosure sale. The current foreclosure inventory rate is at about 0.5%. Despite the fact that foreclosure rates continue to decline or remain relatively low, it is important to remember that a number of homeowners are still facing foreclosure.

While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue to move through various stages of the foreclosure process during the holiday season, a recent article in HousingWire reported that both will be suspending foreclosure eviction lockouts between December 17, 2018 and January 2, 2019 for the holiday season.

Extending Timeline for Foreclosure Evictions in December

For Fannie Mae properties, any single-family homes, as well as two to four-unit properties, will have an extended timeline for foreclosure evictions. Starting December 17, no families will be evicted from those properties until after January 2 of the new year. Similarly, the foreclosure eviction timeline will also be extended for Freddie Mac properties, but the extension is a broader one. All foreclosed Freddie Mac properties that are currently occupied homes will not face evictions during the same time period.

According to the Fannie Mae vice president of single-family real estate, “We believe it is important to extend the timeline of help for struggling borrowers during the holidays.” Fannie Mae also encourages homeowners who are facing foreclosure to use this extra time to seek other options for foreclosure prevention. The Freddie Mac vice president of single-family servicer performance management echoed these sentiments, emphasizing how the mortgage servicer is “suspending evictions from Freddie Mac-owned homes to help provide families with a greater measure of certainty during the upcoming holiday season.”

Yet, to be clear, not all foreclosure activity is suspended. Only foreclosure evictions have been suspended. This means that other foreclosure activity, including both pre-foreclosure and post-foreclosure activity, will continue throughout December 2018 and into the new year.

Avoiding Foreclosure This Holiday Season
If you are facing foreclosure, there are numerous options that may be available to you this holiday season. An article from HGTV cites the following as common options for homeowners who are facing foreclosure:

  • Contact your lender to work out a compromise; 
  • Sell the home through a short sale, which often does not result in a profit for the homeowner but allows the homeowner to avoid damaging his or her credit any further and allows the homeowner to avoid foreclosure; 
  • Deed in lieu of foreclosure, through which the homeowner essentially signs the home back over the bank (but is not the best option for preserving a homeowner’s credit, and typically is only an option after a short sale and other possibilities no longer are available); and 
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which can allow a homeowner to stay in his or her home while developing a repayment plan to pay off debt (once the homeowner files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the automatic stay prevents the foreclosure process from going any further). 

Contact an Oak Park Foreclosure Defense Attorney
If you need assistance avoiding foreclosure this holiday season, you should speak with a foreclosure defense lawyer in Oak Park as soon as possible. Contact the Emerson Law Firm to learn more about your options.

See Related Blog Posts:
Wells Fargo Admits to Hundreds of Wrongful Foreclosures
FHFA Report on Foreclosure Prevention

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