New Tool Helps Homeowners Navigate Expanded Relief Options
Today, homeowners visiting FreddieMac.com looking for help with their mortgage will have a better experience in navigating and understanding available relief options thanks to the Mortgage Help Navigator – a new online tool that steers borrowers to information about options that may best meet their personal circumstances. Over the past 18 months, we greatly enhanced and expanded our foreclosure prevention policies and programs so we designed the Mortgage Help Navigator to help ensure that homeowners are learning about the right ones for their individual needs.
This is part of our overall strategy to optimize outcomes for borrowers, which means we work with our sellers and servicers to find the best possible solutions for struggling homeowners. We exhaust every option to keep a borrower in their home, but when that's not possible we have a number of options to help them exit gracefully from their obligation. We're doing this by:
- Expanding relief options, including two new loan modification programs.
- Enhancing and simplifying programs to streamline processes and reduce documentation requirements and timelines. This helps save time and money for our servicers, too.
- Responding to unique needs and situations such as special mortgage relief options for service members and temporary relief for homeowners impacted by natural disasters.
During this critical time in the housing recovery, homeowner assistance remains one of Freddie Mac's top priorities. It's the right thing to do for families and communities. Since the start of the housing crisis, we have helped over 830,000 homeowners avoid foreclosure and another 1 million underwater borrowers refinance through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). And in cases where foreclosure is unavoidable, we have responsible REO management and disposition strategies in place that promote property preservation and community stabilization.
Our actions are not only helping to stabilize neighborhoods and communities nationwide, they are also minimizing losses for the company and taxpayers. Workouts save the company millions of dollars a year – for example, the income lost from a loan modification is about one fourth of the cost of liquidation. Helping borrowers also lowers the company's delinquencies. Coupled with our focus on responsible lending, these efforts have helped to lower our single-family seriously delinquent rate below three percent for the first time since mid-2009.
Given that approximately a third of all visitors to FreddieMac.com are homeowners, the Mortgage Help Navigator is just another way we're educating borrowers online. We also work closely with national nonprofits, which includes providing free counseling to homeowners through our Borrower Help Centers.
Every struggling homeowner should know that help is just a phone call away. Freddie Mac encourages every borrower who is experiencing a hardship – whether it's temporary or long-term, whether they are current or behind in their payments, whether they are underwater or not – to contact their mortgage servicer to get started. The sooner the call, the sooner help can become a reality.
Did You Know?
Our work to optimize borrower outcomes is adding up:
- 1 million refinanced through HARP
- $350 saved each month in interest during the first 12 months after a HARP refi*
- 830,000 avoided foreclosure
- 80% kept their homes
- 10,000 helped with temporary mortgage relief in the first few weeks after Hurricane Sandy
- 50-75% expected decrease in short sale completion times under new enhanced program
- 2/3 of REO properties sold to people who will live in the home
- 30% reduction in serious delinquency rate – to 2.91% – since its 2010 peak
All data for 2009-1Q 2013 unless otherwise noted
*Borrowers who refinanced during the first quarter 2013
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