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FHFA Foreclosure mitigation has room for improvement
WASHINGTON (12/4/08)—The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has submitted its first mandated report to the U.S. Congress detailing actions the agency is taking to prevent unnecessary mortgage foreclosures. The 2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA) directed the FHFA, as a federal property manager, to develop and implement ways to maximize assistance to homeowners and to encourage servicers of underlying mortgages to take advantage of programs to minimize foreclosures. The FHFA is a designated FPM because in September it became conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The first report to Congress covers the 60 days since enactment of EESA, but subsequent reports will be submitted on a monthly basis. In a letter to Congress, FHFA Director James Lockhart detailed the streamlined loan modification program (SMP) announced last month. Also submitted for review were FHFA’s monthly Foreclosure Prevention Report, quarterly Mortgage Metrics Report, and the Agency’s Plan to Maximize Assistance for Homeowners and Minimize Foreclosures. Lockhart wrote, “The streamlined modification program is meant to reach as many seriously delinquent borrowers as possible to give them a chance to save their homes and begin restoring their credit.” The FHFA further described the letter to federal lawmakers as describing the the unified effort of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, private lenders and servicers, FHFA, the U.S. Treasury Department and Federal Housing Administration (FHA). However, Lockhart noted that the August Foreclosure Prevention Report indicated a need for the government-sponsored housing enterprises to adopt more aggressive loan modification and foreclosure prevention activities. The FHFA noted that the number of foreclosures completed in August 2008 was 15,528, which is above 2008 YTD monthly average. The number of loan modification was 4,402, which was below the 2008 YTD monthly average of 4,959. Use the resource link below to access the agency report.
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