Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010
On October 12, 2010, NAR wrote to Treasury Secretary Geithner, HUD Secretary Donovan, and Acting Director DeMarco of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to convey REALTOR® concerns about the confusion and uncertainty that questions about the validity of foreclosures are causing in local communities to the detriment of homebuyers and others involved in the transaction, as well as the neighborhood. Starting in September 2010, several lenders suspended foreclosures in two dozen states, and one did so for all 50 states, due to questions about whether foreclosures were being processed consistent with applicable state law requirements. NAR calls on lenders to assess the situation and correct any problems as soon as possible, in order to restore confidence in the system and minimize damage to the housing recovery, which even in the Nation's stronger markets is still fragile. Lenders need to determine the extent of foreclosure processing problems expeditiously and must not only assure the protection of the rights of borrowers but also remove doubt that buyers may have about whether the seller is able to convey clear title. NAR urges the lending industry to place additional resources into processing loan modifications and short sales which are preferable to a foreclosure for all involved.
On October 13, 2010, FHFA Acting Director Demarco issued a statement consistent with NAR's letter of October 12, addressing foreclosure processing deficiencies. FHFA has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to implement a four-point policy framework that provides a consistent approach to deal with possible foreclosure process deficiencies by servicers: (1) verify process, (2) remediate actual problems, (3) refer suspicion of fraudulent activity, and (4) avoid delay. This resolution process is intended to provide an orderly and expeditious resolution of foreclosure problems and greater certainty to homeowners, lenders, investors, and communities. FHFA notes that the housing finance system remains fragile. The focus of FHFA is to address the issue in a way that is fair to delinquent households, servicers, mortgage investors, and neighborhoods and in the best interest of taxpayers and housing markets. NAR