Fannie Mae Clarifies Clear Boarding Policies by Seth Welbourn

Fannie Mae has previously promoted clear boarding as an alternative with an allowable which finds the use of plywood unacceptable when securing vacant properties. The GSE has been using polycarbonate clear boarding to secure vacant homes since early 2014 and as of 2016, it had been installed in about 4,000 Fannie Mae properties.

More recently, Fannie Mae released clarification to its guidelines on clear boarding. The GSE no longer allows plywood to be used on the windows of properties in preforeclosure, however, this rule does not apply to Fannie Mae’s REO properties. As of March 29, servicers have 90 days to re-glaze/repair or clear board all unsecured and previously plywood boarded windows. Additionally, Fannie Mae will allow servicers seven days to secure a property after it has been found vacant, by re-glazing/repairing or clear boarding

Except in a few situations, Fannie Mae will not allow plywood to be used as a temporary substitute while waiting on clear boards to ship. Severely fire damaged or pre-demolition properties, as well as any non-window openings will not require clear board.

In Fannie Mae’s update, they list that an updated allowable thresh hold will be released. Robert Klein, Founder and Chairman of Safeguard Properties and Founder and CEO of Community Blight Solutions, called putting in an allowable for clear boarding will be a “game changer”, and praises Fannie Mae’s proactive approach. Fannie Mae will release its updated allowable threshold on April 12.

Back in November, Klein expressed his approval of Fannie Mae’s decision to promote clear boarding. “Eighty percent of the issues that the industry has with the conveyance timeline are resolved when the industry moves toward clear boarding,” said Robert Klein, Founder and Chairman of Safeguard Properties and Founder and CEO of Community Blight Solutions. “This move will have a tremendous impact on ensuring that properties return to the market in a more stable and marketable condition.”

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