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The Honorable Melvin L. Watt of Charlotte, NC sworn in on January 6th to a 5-year term as the first Senate-confirmed Director of FHFA.
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On March 2, 2015, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced enhanced non-performing loan (NPL) requirements for sales of NPLs by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the Enterprises) that will reduce risk to taxpayers by transferring it to the private sector. FHFA believes that the sale of severely delinquent loans through NPL sales will reduce Enterprise losses and improve borrower and neighborhood outcomes.
The enhanced NPL sale requirements draw upon the experience of Freddie Mac’s two pilot sales of NPLs last year and this year. The loans in these two transactions have an aggregate value of approximately one billion dollars in unpaid principal balance.
The loans included in NPL sales will generally be severely delinquent – typically more than one year past due. FHFA’s goal is to achieve more favorable outcomes for the Enterprises and for borrowers by providing alternatives to foreclosure wherever possible. In addition, reporting by servicers on borrower outcomes will be required after the transactions close, which will allow the Enterprises to document whether the desired outcomes are being achieved.
Future NPL sales by the Enterprises must meet the enhanced requirements, which include the following:
Bidder qualifications: Bidders will be required to identify their servicing partners at the time of qualification and must complete a servicing questionnaire to demonstrate a record of successful resolution of loans through alternatives to foreclosure;
Modification requirements: The new servicer will be required to evaluate all pre-2009 borrowers (other than those whose foreclosure sale date is imminent or whose property is vacant) for the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Making Home Affordable programs, including the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). All post-January 1, 2009 borrowers (other than those with an imminent foreclosure sale date or vacant property) must be evaluated for a proprietary modification. Proprietary modifications must not include an upfront fee or require prepayment of any amount of mortgage debt, and must provide a benefit to the borrower with the potential for a sustainable modification;
Loss mitigation waterfall requirements: Servicers must apply a waterfall of resolution tactics that includes evaluating borrower eligibility for a loan modification (HAMP and/or proprietary modification), a short sale, and a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Foreclosure must be the last option in the waterfall. The waterfall may consider net present value to the investor;
REO sale requirements: Servicers are encouraged to sell properties that have gone through foreclosure and entered Real Estate Owned (REO) status to individuals who will occupy the property as their primary residence or to non-profits. For the first 20 days after any NPL that becomes an REO property is marketed, the property may be sold only to buyers who intend to occupy the property as their primary residence or to non-profits;
Subsequent servicer requirements: Subsequent servicers must assume the responsibilities of the initial servicer;
Bidding transparency: To facilitate transparency of the NPL sales program and encourage robust participation by all interested participants, each Enterprise will develop a process for announcing upcoming NPL sale offerings. This will include an NPL webpage on the Enterprise’s website, email distribution to small, non-profit and minority- and women-owned business (MWOB) investors, and proactive outreach to potential bidders. Additionally, each Enterprise will host training sessions for interested non-profit and MWOB investors to facilitate better understanding of the NPL sales process. The Enterprises will also offer small pools of NPLs, where feasible;
Reporting requirements: NPL buyers and servicers, including subsequent servicers, are required to report loan resolution results and borrower outcomes to the Enterprises for four years after the NPL sale. These reports will help inform whether to make future changes to NPL sales requirements and determine whether an NPL buyer and NPL servicer continue to be eligible for future sales based on pool level borrower outcomes, adjusted for subsequent market events. Consistent with applicable law, FHFA and/or the Enterprises will provide public reports on aggregate borrower outcomes at the pool level.
Related News Release
Corinne Russell (202) 649-3032 / Stefanie Johnson (202) 649-3030
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