Your Questions Answered
Where does a borrower turn if they’re having trouble refinancing their mortgage? What about a member of the armed services looking to modify their loan because of an upcoming station transfer? Or a homeowner struggling to pay their mortgage in the aftermath of a natural disaster?
A borrower's servicer (the company where they send their monthly mortgage payment) is the best place to go for answers because servicers are equipped to help borrowers directly. That said, borrowers are increasingly bringing their questions to Freddie Mac.
This week, we’ve asked the experts of our Homeowner Assistance and Response Team (HART) to answer some of the questions they’re hearing most often from homeowners, house hunters, and real estate professionals. We’re sharing this information with our readers in the hope that you’ll find it useful, too.
Question: How do I go about purchasing a property that Freddie Mac owns, or find out more information on a particular property for sale?
Answer: Information about Freddie Mac-owned properties currently listed for sale can be found on our HomeSteps website or by contacting HomeSteps at (800) 972-7555. We understand you may be eager to purchase a particular property, and we appreciate your interest in our homes – just keep in mind that it may take time to prepare a home to be listed for sale. If you don’t see the property you’re interested in right away, you can register on the website and have new listings emailed to you as they become available.
Question: I’m a real estate agent working on a short sale and would like to dispute the property value the servicer is using.
Answer: We really appreciate the feedback that we get from local agents. Understanding market value is a critical piece of short sale evaluation, so your input on market conditions is helpful. Freddie Mac's requirements for short sale consideration and approval include a property's market value and other components. If you want to dispute a market value, you should reach out to your point of contact at the servicer and provide three listed comparables, three sales, and a justification for the value change. Keep in mind that the comparables and sales should not be foreclosures or short sales, and should be within the last 90 days.
Question: I received a letter in the mail saying that Freddie Mac purchased my mortgage. What does this mean? Also, the letter lists my address incorrectly – how do I get it fixed?
Answer: Section 404 of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 requires investors to notify borrowers in writing when they buy a mortgage loan. You received this letter because Freddie Mac has purchased your loan as an investor. But this doesn’t change anything about the way you’ve been paying your mortgage. Your servicer is still responsible for collecting your money, so you should continue to send your payments to them. If you notice any errors in the borrower information listed on your letter, please notify your servicer.
Question: What is a streamlined modification and how can I find out if I qualify?
Answer: The Streamlined Modification is an alternative to foreclosure that offers severely delinquent borrowers a way to keep their homes by modifying the terms of their loans. If your loan is identified as being eligible for a Streamlined Modification, you’ll receive a letter and a Trial Period Plan Notice from your servicer. If you don’t get a letter, it's likely that your loan hasn’t been identified as eligible for the program.
Even if you haven’t been contacted about a Streamlined Modification, it's important that you call your servicer right away if you’re concerned about keeping up with your mortgage payments. There are many options available that may help you avoid foreclosure.
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