Agencies, Lenders Offer Relief to CA Fire Victims

The Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae all called for mortgage lenders and servicers to provide relief to borrowers affected by the wildfires in Southern California in late October.

All three organizations urged mortgage companies to use compassion in their dealings with Southern Californians, and to ensure that homeowners can recover from the fires without damaging their financial situations or credit ratings. Fannie Mae said that it would put mortgage relief provisions in place for those in San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties in Southern California. Fannie recommended the temporary suspension or reduction of mortgage payments, and, in extreme cases, changes in the terms of the mortgage. Freddie Mac "strongly encouraged" its servicers to waive penalties or late fees against borrowers with fire-damaged homes, to not report forbearance or delinquencies caused by fires to credit bureaus, and to expedite insurance claims.

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