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Freddie & Fannie Reach Short Sale Agreements with Mortgage Insurers

Agreements were announced on Wednesday with nine private insurance carriers that will make foreclosure alternatives much quicker and easier for some Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the GSEs) borrowers to obtain. Servicers will no longer have to seek approval of private mortgage insurance (PMI) companies when borrowers with mortgages owned or guaranteed by either GSE and carrying PMI seek a short sale or permission to grant a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

The agreements, which become effective on November 1, allow the GSEs to approve short sales and deeds in lieu on the insurers' behalf. The GSEs are, in turn, delegating these authorities to their servicers. The delegations will eliminate the separate review required by the mortgage insurers. Freddie Mac, in announcing the agreements said that this should reduce the potential costs, delays, and uncertainty involved in the transactions, enabling more distressed borrowers to avoid foreclosure.

Nine companies inked the agreements with the GSEs. They are CMG Mortgage Insurance Company, Essent Guaranty, Inc., Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corporation, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation, PMI Mortgage Insurance Company, Radian Guaranty, Inc., Republic Mortgage Insurance Company, Triad Guaranty Insurance Corporation, and United Guaranty Corporation.

Fannie Mae said it previously had individual delegation agreements with the majority of its top PMI counterparties but the standard agreement with all nine insurers would make the approval process more consistent and efficient for servicers and borrowers.

Freddie Mac said the agreements will build on recent Freddie Mac efforts to encourage more short sales. On November 1, Freddie Mac's new Standard Short Sale will also go into effect, streamlining the short sale approval process and broadening the ability of servicers to help distressed borrowers.

Tracy Mooney, Senior Vice President, Servicing and REO at Freddie Mac said, "We applaud the nation's mortgage insurers for committing to work with us and our servicers to help more borrowers obtain short sales and other foreclosure alternatives. By paving the way for more borrowers to avoid foreclosure, today's announcement will support the housing recovery and help reduce taxpayer losses."

"Short sales and deeds-in-lieu are important tools to prevent foreclosures and help struggling borrowers," said Leslie Peeler, senior vice president, National Servicing Organization, Fannie Mae. "These delegation agreements create an even more streamlined process that will ultimately help more families avoid the costly effects of foreclosure and benefit taxpayers. We are pleased that the mortgage insurance companies have stepped up to the plate with us to help more homeowners."

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