Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will suspend the evictions of foreclosed single-family properties during the holiday season, according to the government-sponsored enterprises.

The suspension of evictions will apply to single-family and two-to-four unit properties between Dec. 18 and Jan. 2 for both GSEs. Though legal and administrative proceedings may continue during this time period, families will be allowed to stay in the home.

Foreclosures decline at Fannie and Freddie

"We're taking steps to support families and to extend the timeline of help for struggling borrowers during the holidays," said Jacob Williamson, vice president of single-family distressed assets at Fannie Mae, in a press release.

"We also encourage homeowners who may be struggling with their mortgage to reach out to Fannie Mae or their servicer to get help. Options are available to avoid foreclosure, and we want to help pursue those options whenever possible," he continued.

In the third quarter, Fannie Mae acquired 29,417 properties through foreclosure by Sept. 30, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This figure is down considerably from 41,973 real estate owned properties from the same period last year. Freddie Mac acquired 9,146 REO properties from the beginning to the end of the third quarter, down from 12,185 in the third quarter of 2016.

"As we have done in past years, we are suspending evictions over the holidays. For borrowers who may be experiencing financial challenges we strongly urge them to contact their mortgage servicer to explore one of the Freddie Mac workout options," said Yvette Gilmore, vice president of single-family servicer performance management at Freddie Mac, in a press release.

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