Freddie Mac has announced new policies for unemployed borrowers that can grant the troubled homeowners up a year in breaks from their mortgage payments.
According to a HousingWire article on the policies, which go into effect Feb. 1, Freddie will achieve this through two primary methods: mortgage servicers now have the power to grant a six-month forebear without Freddie’s approval, and Freddie can extend that forebear for another six months.
Tracy Mooney, the senior vice president of single-family servicing and REO at Freddie, said added security is the focus of the new policies.
“These expanded forbearance periods will provide families facing prolonged periods of unemployment with a greater measure of security by giving them more time to find new employment and resolve their delinquencies,” Mooney said. “We believe this will put more families back on track to successful long-term homeownership.”
Previously, long forbearance periods were only possible in the event of natural disasters, permanent disability or long-term medical emergency, according to HousingWire. Additionally, before the newly mentioned policies, servicers were only allowed to grant three months of forbearance with no payment and six months at a reduced payment, without Freddie’s approval.
Freddie’s forbearance policies may also foreshadow further government aid for the housing market, according to commentators.