Freddie Mac Rules Out MERS Foreclosures
EffectivernApril 1, servicers managing Freddie Mac loans will no longer be allowed tornforeclose on properties in the name of MortgagernElectronic Registration Systems (MERS). rnThis was one of a several changes announced yesterday by Freddie Mac through Single-FamilyrnSeller/Servicer Guide Bulletin 2011-5.</p
According to the directive, Freddie has “eliminated the option for the foreclosure counsel or trustee to conduct a foreclosure in the name of MERS. Effective for Mortgages registered with MERS that are referred to foreclosure on or after April 1, 2011, Servicers must prepare an assignment of the Security Instrument from MERS to the Servicer and instruct the foreclosure counsel or trustee to foreclose in the Servicer’s name and take title in Freddie Mac’s name.” In states where required thernservicer must also record the prepared assignment; Freddie Mac will not pay thernrecording fees.</p
Using a few excerpts from the release, otherrnchanges to foreclosure and bankruptcy procedures in the Bulletin include…</p
FORECLOSURE SALE POSTPONMENTS: To streamline processes, Servicers are permitted tornpostpone a scheduled foreclosure sale when Freddie Mac designated counsel handles thernforeclosure, provided the newly scheduled sale date is within the staternforeclosure time lines.</p
REVISED REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO FORECLOSURE AND BANKRUPTCY COMPENSATION: Freddie wants to ensure foreclosure and bankruptcy related servicing obligations are met in the most cost-conscious, effective manner. These revisions include prohibiting any arrangement withrnattorneys or trustees that result in financial or other direct and indirectrncompensation to the servicers or an affiliate or allowing vendors and others torninfluence the selection of counsel.</p
NEW REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES: CONNECTIVITY AND INVOICING: Freddie Mac will now reimburse Servicers for limited expenses incurred for their attorneys’ and trustees’ use of connectivity and/or invoice processing systems during the Foreclosure and bankruptcy process. The vendor must bill these charges directly to the Servicer, rather than the attorney or trustee, and the Servicer must pay the vendor directly for these charges. No charges for connectivity or invoice processing may be passed on to the Borrower, the attorney or the trustee</p
PROPERTY PRESERVATION – PROPERTY INSPECTIONS AND NEW REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES: Freddie has revised property preservation requirements and reimbursable expense limits for abandoned properties to allow Servicers to complete additional preservation activities without our prior approval, and to encourage proactive preservation and maintenance of abandoned properties. Effective June 1 (butrnencouraged prior to that date) the Servicer must perform an interior inspectionrnon any property that has been abandoned upon confirmation of abandonment orrnwithin 30 days before a scheduled foreclosure sale. Interior property inspections are now reimbursable up to a maximum amount of $20 for each inspection ($40 maximum aggregate amount per property). Freddie Mac also increased thernallowable fees for exterior inspections from a maximum aggregate amount of $16 for all required inspections to a maximum amount of $10 for each required exterior property inspection, provided that such inspections are completed within the State foreclosure time lines.</p
INTERACTION WITH STATE HFAs: New requirementsrnfor Servicer interaction with State Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) usingrn”Mortgage Assistance Programs”. The requirement that services obtain copiesrnof any relevant documents describing the amount and type of financialrnassistance provided to the borrower has been eliminated and changes have beenrnmade to the timing of several reporting requirements to HFAs and to FreddiernMac,</p
Servicersrnare also directed to review the Detail Adjustment Report (DAR) for informationrnon the detailed amount that Freddie Mac has determined would be charged off inrnconnection with a short payoff, charge-off, or third party sale.</p
HERE is the full Bulletin.
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