Freddie Mac has announced that it is requiring its 2,300 mortgage servicers to extend forbearance automatically to borrowers recently released from active duty in the armed forces.Freddie Mac said the new policy, which appears in a June 10 update to Freddie's Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide, aims to help returning service personnel face financial problems and avoid foreclosure, and is not part of the requirements of the Service Members Civil Relief Act designed to protect service members from creditors only when they are on active duty. "We're extending this forbearance to make sure that lenders do not initiate or resume foreclosure for at least 90 days from a borrower's release date," said Ingrid Beckles, Freddie Mac's vice president of default asset management. "This change gives lenders more time to work with servicemen and women and explore all relief options available." If service members need assistance under Freddie's policy, they should contact their mortgage servicer, who will assess individual circumstances. Freddie Mac can be found online at http://www.freddiemac.com.

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