Happy holidays to struggling homeowners who need a little Christmas Spirit! Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and several large mortgage lenders have pledged not to foreclose on delinquent borrowers during the Holiday Season…a temporary Christmas present of sorts.
For homeowners with loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the moratorium will run from Dec. 19 through Jan. 2, 2012. “The holidays are meant for families to spend time together, especially if they’ve gone through the stress of financial challenges and foreclosure,” Terry Edwards, executive vice president of Credit Portfolio Management for Fannie Mae, said in a statement. “No family should have to give up their home during this holiday season.” While the holiday moratorium is in place, legal and administrative proceedings for evictions may continue, but “families living in foreclosed properties will be permitted to remain in the home,” Fannie Mae announced in a statement.
Among some of the major banks that offer mortgage loans, Chase Mortgage said it will not evict anyone between Dec. 22 and Jan. 2. Wells Fargo will also suspend evictions during that period, but will not shut down its eviction machinery entirely. The bank said it will observe the moratorium on foreclosed properties in its own portfolio but for loans it services for other lenders "foreclosure-related actions may still occur." Bank of America said that it would "avoid foreclosure sales or displacement of homeowners or tenants around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays." However, that policy only applies to loans the bank itself owns. Like Wells Fargo, it will also honor the wishes of the owners of the loans it services, which could mean moving forward with certain foreclosures.
Perhaps, during this holiday season, some families will be able to stabilize their finances enough to avoid foreclosure, which would make Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the banks truly encompass the holiday spirit.
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Hugh “Scooter” Willey