Fannie Mae Says Foreclosure Delays Represent a Breach by the Servicer

Fri, Sep 3, 2010


By: Carrie Bay

The nation’s largest mortgage company is about to start cracking down on servicers for letting delinquent loans languish too long without action.

Fannie Mae issued a notice this week alerting servicers that it is monitoring all delinquent loans in its portfolio and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) pools to ensure foreclosures are handled within an acceptable time frame.

By the tone of Fannie’s announcement, it wants these nonperformers off its books as quickly as possible. The GSE says it may assess penalties for poor servicer performance when it comes to completing foreclosures in a timely manner.

Fannie says it will be keeping tabs on all whole mortgages, participation pool mortgages, and MBS pool mortgages with a special servicing option referred to an attorney or trustee to initiate foreclosure proceedings on or after July 1, 2010. Company officials will be scrutinizing servicer data to identify delays in the default management process.

According to the GSE, it may elect to perform a more extensive servicing review – possibly on-site – to further evaluate the actions the servicer took on certain mortgage loans. Servicers must send the requested documentation or make it available…within the time frame specified in the notification. If the servicer fails to do so, Fannie Mae may assess compensatory fees without first reviewing the loan or exercise other available remedies, the GSE warned.

Fannie Mae will communicate any performance deficiencies to the servicer, who will then be given an opportunity to explain any mitigating circumstances or factors that justify the servicing actions it took or did not take within a reasonable time frame.

“A compensatory fee not only compensates Fannie Mae for damages but also emphasizes the importance placed on a particular aspect of the servicer’s performance,” the GSE stated in its servicing guide.

Fannie also updated the allowable foreclosure time frames for four states: Florida – 185 days; Maryland – 90 days; Nevada – 150 days; New York (upstate) – 300 days; and New York (downstate) – 420 days.

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