RISMEDIA, Jan. 9, 2008-As part of its ongoing commitment to support borrowers facing potential foreclosure, Fannie Mae will reimburse its servicing partners when they refer homeowners who are behind in their mortgage payments to the HOPE Hotline for counseling.
“We have to do everything we can, and early intervention and delinquency counseling are key to helping many at-risk homeowners avoid foreclosure,” said Jason Allnutt, vice president for Credit Loss Management and Quality Assurance at Fannie Mae. “We believe that in these difficult times, independent counseling agencies can play a unique role by helping servicers help borrowers find more opportunities to avoid foreclosure and
keep their homes.”
The toll-free hotline, 1-888-995-HOPE, is available 24-hours a day to provide mortgage counseling in multiple languages. It is supported by the HOPE NOW Alliance, announced in October by Treasury Secretary Paulson and Housing Secretary Jackson to reach out and help homeowners who may not be able to pay their mortgage. Fannie Mae is a member of the Alliance, established to create a unified, coordinated plan to help as many homeowners as possible across the nation.
Allnutt stressed that it is important for homeowners to act quickly if they are facing problems making mortgage payments due to divorce, unemployment, disability, or because of an increase in mortgage payments.
“Take action. Reach out. Ask for help right away and act quickly, because if you fall further and further behind in your payments, there are fewer options counselors can recommend to avoid foreclosure,” he said.
The unprecedented sharp increase in mortgage delinquencies has resulted in many challenges for mortgage servicers in their attempts to offer loss mitigation alternatives to cure delinquencies and reduce foreclosures. Fannie Mae will reimburse servicers, who are Fannie Mae partners, for delinquency counseling provided through HOPE Hotline referrals. Servicers should contact their Fannie Mae account representative for details on this, and other incentives and reimbursements already in place.
Fannie Mae has increased its efforts to help keep people in their homes and reduce the number of foreclosures through workouts, loan modifications, and support to counseling agencies. This year, as part of the HomeStay(TM) initiative, Fannie Mae has helped nearly 100,000 families avoid losing their homes by refinancing or working out their loans.
For more information, see the Fannie Mae Web site.
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