DEC 2, 2013 4:09pm ET

Freddie Extends Mortgage Relief to Illinois Homeowners

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Illinois homeowners whose properties were damaged by the severe storms, straight-line winds and tornadoes that hit the state on Nov. 17 are being offered mortgage relief from Freddie Mac.

Freddie Mac’s disaster relief policies enable servicers to help borrowers with homes in presidentially declared major disaster areas where federal individual assistance programs are being made available. More than 2,400 homes were damaged from 24 tornadoes that ripped through the state, killing at least six people, Gov. Pat Quinn says.

Federal aid money will go to relief efforts in Champaign, Douglas, Fayette, Grundy, Jasper, LaSalle, Massac, Pope, Tazewell, Vermilion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, Will and Woodford counties.

To date, more than 1,000 homes in presidentially declared disaster areas remain uninhabitable, Quinn says.

Mortgage relief options for borrowers who live in these counties include a one-year suspension of foreclosure, waiving assessments of late mortgage payment fees, and not reporting forbearance triggered by the disaster to the nation’s credit bureaus.

Under a new Freddie Mac mortgage modification option, after the disaster forbearance ends, the servicer can add skipped payments to the outstanding loan balance and prolong the mortgage term, while keeping the borrower’s mortgage payment basically the same.

“Freddie Mac is urgently reminding the nation’s mortgage servicers about the full range of mortgage relief options they can provide to affected borrowers with mortgages we own or guarantee,” said Tracy Mooney, senior vice president of single-family servicing and REO at Freddie Mac. “We strongly encourage borrowers to contact their servicers, who are fully authorized to work with them on a case-by-case basis.”

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