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New Fannie, Freddie Guidelines Pending States' Approval
 WASHINGTON (12/3/13)--The Federal Housing Finance Agency is hoping that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be able to follow a new harmonized set of rules in 2014.
 
The agency announced Monday that it and the government-sponsored enterprises have updated standard guidelines on loss mitigation, claims, assurance of coverage and information sharing.
 
Rule changes are subject to state insurance regulators' review and approval. The FHFA said that it expects the new rules to go into effect sometime next year.
 
The new rule alignment, which was advocated by the FHFA 2013 Conservatorship Scorecard, seeks to bridge gaps in existing master policy regulations, the agency said in a release.
 
The agency described the changes as resulting from the housing crisis. It says loss mitigation strategies were developed to help distressed homeowners during the wave of foreclosures that followed the 2008 financial collapse, and that claims-rules changes establish a schedule for processing--including requests for documentation.

The agency described assurance-of-coverage rule changes as clarifying when mortgage insurance can be withdrawn, and said that the new guidelines will promote communication between mortgage insurers, servicers, and Fannie and Freddie.
 
The FHFA said that the government-sponsored enterprises worked with the agency and the mortgage industry to formulate the rule changes.
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