Freddie Mac has announced that families whose homes have been damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Frances can seek mortgage relief aimed at protecting their credit ratings and financial interests in their homes.Freddie Mac said it is encouraging its servicers to provide borrowers with relief through the company's disaster relief guidelines, which allow them to reduce or suspend mortgage payments for up to 12 months. The government-sponsored enterprise said it is also "strongly encouraging" servicers to waive the assessment of penalties or late fees, not report forbearance or delinquencies caused by the hurricane to credit bureaus, and expedite the release of insurance proceeds. The same relief was provided in August for families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Charley.

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