Nick Timiraos | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

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Fannie Offers Spur to Avoid Foreclosure: WSJ

Fannie Offers Spur to Avoid Foreclosure: WSJ


SFF posted how DJSP is going to begin to run the “Deed In Lieu” for an undisclosed servicer. Is this the opening door to fend off the millions of foreclosure fraud that are being presented in many courts?? Is this they’re way of “taking care of business” prior to any foreclosure? Go here to see Law offices of David J. Stern as a retained attorney for Fannie Mae. NOTE: almost all Mills are on this list.

By NICK TIMIRAOS

Fannie Mae will make it easier for some struggling homeowners to buy houses in the future if they avoid foreclosure in the present.

Under rules released this month that will take effect in July, some troubled borrowers who give up their homes by voluntarily transferring ownership through a “deed in lieu of foreclosure” or by completing a short sale, where a home is sold for less than the amount owed, will be eligible in two years to apply for a new mortgage backed by Fannie.

Currently, borrowers who complete a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure must wait four years before they can take out a loan that Fannie is willing to purchase.

[FANNIE]The new policies from Fannie, a government-backed mortgage-finance company that together with Freddie Mac backs about half of the U.S. mortgage market, don’t relax waiting periods for borrowers who go through foreclosure.

In 2008, Fannie lengthened that waiting period to five years from four.

To quality for the reduced waiting period, most borrowers will need to make a down payment of at least 20%, although borrowers with extenuating circumstances, such as a job loss, will be required to put down just 10%.

Even if waiting periods are shortened, many borrowers may be unlikely to repair their credit that quickly in order to get a loan in the first place. Foreclosures and short sales generally have the same effect on a borrower’s credit score and can stay on a credit report for up to seven years.

The new rules are designed to make foreclosure alternatives more attractive to borrowers at a time when the Obama administration is ramping up its effort to encourage banks to consider alternatives such as short sales. That program sets pre-approved terms for short sales and offers financial incentives to borrowers and lenders to complete such sales.

Freddie Mac requires borrowers to wait five years after a foreclosure and four years after a short sale or deed-in-lieu.

Those periods can fall to three years for a foreclosure or two years for a short sale when borrowers show extenuating circumstances.

Officials at the Federal Housing Administration, the government mortgage insurer, say they are considering changes to their rules, which require borrowers with a foreclosure to wait at least three years before becoming eligible for an FHA-backed loan.

“We are beginning to think about post-recession, how you address borrowers who became unemployed through no fault of their own … and now deserve the right to re-enter the housing-finance system,” said FHA Commissioner David Stevens. DinSFLA: DOUBLE DUH! Beginning to think?? A little too late.

But some worry that policies enabling defaulted borrowers to more quickly resume homeownership could encourage more people to default.

“We don’t want to say that there’s a ‘get out of jail’ card during recessions to walk away from your house,” Mr. Stevens said. DinSFLA: Exactly who is getting the “GET OUT OF JAIL CARD”??

In December, the FHA unveiled rules for borrowers who completed a short sale.

Those who have missed payments prior to completing a short sale or who didn’t face a hardship and simply took advantage of declining market conditions to buy a new home must wait three years.

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How Bank of America’s Mortgage Write-Down Program Works: WSJ

How Bank of America’s Mortgage Write-Down Program Works: WSJ


March 24, 2010, 10:56 PM ET

By Nick Timiraos WSJ Blogs

Don’t call us, we’ll call you—that was the message on Wednesday from Bank of America executives who announced the bank’s new effort to modify mortgages by cutting loan balances.

Under the program, Bank of America will reduce certain loans by up to 30% in order to lower monthly payments for borrowers facing foreclosure. While banks have selectively used principal write-downs to modify loans that they own, Bank of America’s approach could represent the beginning of broader efforts by banks to add write-downs as a more common tool in their loan-modification arsenal.

Here’s how it works: only borrowers who had loans from Countrywide Financial, which Bank of America acquired in mid-2008, will be eligible. And only the riskiest loans will qualify: subprime loans, “option adjustable-rate” mortgages that have low initial monthly payments but that can adjust sharply higher, and certain prime loans that have a fixed interest rate for the first two years before starting to adjust annually.

The program is also limited to customers who have missed at least two consecutive payments, who can demonstrate that a financial hardship prevents them from making payments at the current level, and whose loan balance is at least 120% of the estimated home value.

Bank of America will go through its loan book to see which loans might qualify for reductions (while checking property values to see which ones are far enough under water), and then the bank will reach out to those who may be eligible. “Our customers do not need to take any actions at this time,” said Jack Schakett, a credit-loss mitigation executive.

Why all the qualification restrictions?  For starters, banks and policy makers have long worried that they could up end the housing market if they offer principal write-downs too widely. Borrowers who are current but who owe more than their homes are worth, known as being “under water,” might stop paying to get a better deal. So it makes sense to start with a narrow pool of borrowers, particularly one that already has sky-high default rates.

Another reason: Bank of America is offering these modifications as part of a settlement reached Wednesday with the commonwealth of Massachusetts. The settlement is fairly detailed in prescribing what kinds of modifications Bank of America has to take with its Countrywide loans. (In an interview, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said she pushed for principal reductions in the settlement because she didn’t want any bank to be “modifying a loan for the sake of modifying it, and finding two months, or six months, or a year later that it’s still going to be foreclosed on without getting to the root of the problem.”)

Bank of America says that around 45,000 borrowers could see their loan balances reduced with an average reduction of more than $62,000.

Bank of America’s approach has an interesting design feature in an attempt to prevent homeowners who are still paying their loans from defaulting and becoming eligible for the program. Loan balances aren’t reduced in one clean strike. Instead, Bank of America is offering what’s called “earned forgiveness.”

The program works like this: for a borrower who owes $300,000 on a home worth $200,000, the bank would reduce up to $100,000 in principal and place it in an interest-free account. For each of five years, the bank would forgive another $20,000 as long as the borrower continued to make payments and until the borrower was returned to a 100% loan-to-value ratio. If home prices have recovered by the fourth or fifth year to meet the amount owed, Bank of America would stop forgiving money in the interest-free account, which would have to be paid off when the home is sold or the loan is refinanced.

To be sure, there are drawbacks. One big challenge in modifying loans has been the presence of second mortgages. Bank of America said it will modify first mortgages that have seconds behind them only when Bank of America owns the first mortgage in its portfolio. The government’s modification program, Home Affordable Modification Program, has faced challenges because borrowers haven’t been able to document their incomes, and those requirements don’t go away in this effort.

But it does offer an interesting test case to see if, for the riskiest and worst performing loans, borrowers will stick with a better payment program.

 

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GARY DUBIN LAW OFFICES FORECLOSURE DEFENSE HAWAII and CALIFORNIA
Kenneth Eric Trent, www.ForeclosureDestroyer.com

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