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RISMEDIA, January 11, 2010—In an effort to expedite REO sales, Fannie Mae has adopted a new policy. As part of this policy, Fannie Mae may accept offers to purchase homes it has repossessed without notifying loan servicers, and loan servicers may be required to reimburse Fannie Mae for a loss if it turns out the original mortgage on the home did not meet its eligibility or underwriting requirements..

Previously, if there was a question over whether a mortgage on a repossessed property met Fannie Mae’s requirements, servicers were given 15 days to turn over loan files for review. Rather than reimburse Fannie Mae for an incurred loss, loan servicers had the opportunity to try and find a better offer for the property or buy it themselves.

The rules have changed, though. In a recent announcement to loan servicers, Fannie Mae said it has implemented a change regarding assurance reviews. When the company is notified that a property has been acquired, it will begin the disposition process by obtaining opinions on the market value of a repossessed home and list it with a real estate broker.

“When Fannie Mae receives an offer to purchase a property that is also subject to an underwriting or servicing review, Fannie Mae may accept the purchase offer without first notifying the servicer, whether or not a final decision has been reached with respect to the review,” Fannie Mae said in its announcement. “If, after completion of the review, Fannie Mae determines that the mortgage loan did not meet its eligibility or underwriting requirements and Fannie Mae has incurred a loss by selling the property, the lender will be required to fully reimburse Fannie Mae for its loss.”

These changes come after recent reports from Fannie Mae showing an increase in the acquisition of foreclosed properties and an escalating rate of seriously delinquent single-family home loans.

According to its most recent quarterly report, Fannie Mae acquired 98,428 homes through foreclosure during the first nine months of last year and sold 89,691 REO properties during the same period. However, at the end of September 2009, Fannie Mae still had 72,275 REO properties on its books, marking a 7% increase year-over-year.

Furthermore, Fannie Mae’s monthly summary for November 2009 showed notable growth in seriously delinquent single-family home loans held or guaranteed by the company. Up from 1.89% in November 2008, loans three or more months behind in payments or in the foreclosure process soared to 4.98% in November 2009.

For more information, visit www.fanniemae.com.

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