Freddie Mac grants reprieves to borrowers in Irma disaster areas

Foreclosure sales and eviction activities have been suspended

Freddie Mac grants reprieves to borrowers in Irma disaster areas
Homeowners living in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-declared disaster areas following hurricanes Harvey and Irma have been given a reprieve by Freddie Mac.

Freddie suspended all foreclosure sales in those areas through Dec. 31. All evictions activities for borrowers living in eligible areas have also been suspended until further notice. Freddie Mac also said that it is cooperating with servicers to make sure that impacted borrowers will not be charged property inspection costs that result directly from the hurricanes.

"We appreciate the understanding and consideration that servicers are extending to borrowers coping with hardships related to these devastating storms. As we continue to work with servicers to assess the damage, we want to reassure borrowers that we will support them during this difficult time," said Yvette Gilmore, Freddie Mac's vice president of single-family servicer performance management. "They may be able to put their mortgage payments on hold for up to one year if their mortgage is owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac. The first step is for borrowers to contact their mortgage servicers – the companies they send their payments to each month."

Freddie Mac said it will communicate the additional changes to its disaster relief assistance program through a guide bulletin for servicers. It previously authorized servicers to assist borrowers who live or work in presidentially-declared major disaster areas where federal individual assistance programs have been extended.

The disaster relief assistance program includes foreclosure suspension through provision of forbearance for up to 12 months; waiver of penalty or late-fee assessment for those with disaster-damaged homes; and non-reporting of disaster-related forbearance or delinquencies to credit bureaus.

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