Freddie Mac announced Friday that it was giving mortgage servicers the authority to offer up to 1 year of mortgage forbearance to unemployed homeowners who have Freddie Mac-backed mortgages.
The change takes effect Feb. 1, means loan servicers can offer six months of forbearance to jobless borrowers without Freddie's approval and another six months with approval. Currently, servicers can grant up to three months of no mortgage payments without prior agency approval, or six months of reduced payments with approval .
But don't think that Freddie suddenly had a twinge of social consciousness that led to move, they were ordered to do so by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Home foreclosures jumped just over 21 percent in the third quarter of last year - for a total of 347,726 homes - almost exactly the number of foreclosures in the third quarter of 2010.