Struggling borrowers who give up their homes through a “deed in lieu of foreclosure” or a short sale will be able to obtain a new Fannie Mae loan in two years. Currently, these owners must wait at least four years.
The new policy, which takes effect in July, is designed to make foreclosure alternatives more attractive. The policy applies only to Fannie Mae’s willingness to approve a mortgage, however. Homeowners’ credit scores will still take a hit following a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
To qualify for a mortgage after the two year wait, Fannie Mae says borrowers must make a 20 percent downpayment; but those who lost a job or have other extenuating circumstances will be able to make a 10 percent downpayment.
Freddie Mac – which, with Fannie Mae, insures over half the mortgages in the U.S. – currently makes homeowners wait four years after a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure before it will back a new mortgage. Owners who go through a foreclosure wait five years. For both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the waits can be shorter in some cases if borrowers show extenuating circumstances.