Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced they will begin their holiday eviction moratoriums on December 19. The suspension of evictions is scheduled to end Jan 2 and Jan 3, 2017 respectively.
The suspension will apply to eviction lockouts on Freddie Mac-owned REO homes, but will not affect other pre- or post-foreclosure activities. Companies that are managing local evictions for Freddie Mac may continue to file documentation as needed during the suspension period. Families will be allowed to remain in their homes, but legal and administrative proceedings for evictions under Fannie Mae might continue.
Chris Bowden, SVP of REO at Freddie Mac, wants families to enjoy the holiday season without worrying about the financial burden and stress of losing their homes. “Our announcement is to help provide families with a greater measure of certainty during the upcoming holiday season. We also want to be sure families experiencing financial hardship are aware of the options available to them,” he said. “Those who are facing possible foreclosure should reach out to their mortgage servicers and explore the alternatives that are in place to help homeowners year-round.”
While many foreclosure metrics nationwide are far below their 2010 peak, foreclosure levels remain elevated in some states. ATTOM Data Solutions foreclosure data found that 28 states along with the District of Columbia have experienced an increase in foreclosure activity from 2015, despite the national decline in foreclosures. The report also found that Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, and South Carolina were the states with the highest foreclosure rates in October.
Daren Blomquist, SVP at ATTOM, spotted a trend with foreclosed home in certain regions of the nation. “Some of these housing markets still have a backlog of distressed inventory and those do tend to be Northeast and Rust Belt States,” he said. “We are seeing a continuing of working through the backlog. What also really stood out in October was that in some of the states that seemed to put the foreclosure crisis behind them, we saw some pretty big jumps in foreclosure starts. This was in places like Arizona, Georgia, and Colorado. A lot of this activity was tied not to loans in the last foreclosure crisis but loans originated since 2009.”
Joy Cianci, SVP of Single-family Special and Distressed Assets at Fannie Mae, urges borrowers to seek financial advice if they are facing foreclosure. “We believe it is important to extend the timeline of help for struggling borrowers during the holidays,” she said. “If you are in trouble or facing foreclosure, reach out to Fannie Mae or your service provider today to get help. Options are available to avoid foreclosure, and we want to help pursue those options whenever possible.”