NAR files Comment Letter with FTC on Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS)
On March 29, 2010 NAR filed a formal comment letter with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in response to the FTC’s request for comments regarding Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS). NAR’s letter targets provisions of the regulation that may affect real estate agents handling short sales. Specifically, NAR is seeking a clear indication from the FTC that real estate agents and brokers engaged in the typical functions of the industry are excluded from the rules provisions particularly with regard to short sales and providing the typical advice real estate agents offer clients and former clients.

Comment Letter to FTC on MARS >

Contacts: Scott Rinn, 202-383-7508

Conventional Residential Lending Report

HAFA Takes Effect on April 5, 2010
April 5, 2010, is the deadline for participating servicers to implement the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program, known as HAFA. The program reportedly covers servicers handling more than 90 percent of all mortgages. REALTORS® are already hearing that the staff of many servicers have not yet even heard about the program, so it is clear that many servicers will not “hit the ground running.” Patience will be needed, but now that there is a program in place, REALTORS® can negotiate faster short sales by urging compliance with the new procedures and deadlines. NAR will carefully monitor implementation and will report delays and other program problems to the Treasury Department. NAR’s webpage provides extensive information for REALTORS® and others about how the program works.

NAR’s Short Sales Web Page (including links to a 45 minute Webinar and a 15 minute video) >
NAR’s HAFA Brochure >
Treasury Department Guidelines and Forms (updated March 26, 2010) >

Contacts: Jeff Lischer, 202-383-1117

Contacts: Tony Hutchinson, 202-383-1120

Freddie Mac Announces Florida Condominium Effort
On March 31, 2010, Freddie Mac announced a “Florida Condominium Effort” to increase financing in that hard-hit state. Under Bulletin 2010-8, lenders selling mortgages to Freddie Mac are exempt from certain condo project requirements, representations, and warranties if:

  1. The file documents that the existing first mortgage is owned or securitized by Freddie Mac.
  2. The property seller’s note date is on or before December 31, 2009.
  3. The settlement date for the new mortgage is before April 1, 2011.

In another change, condominium unit mortgages secured by units in Fannie Mae-accepted projects that receive the Fannie Mae special approval designation for established Florida condominium projects are not eligible for sale to Freddie Mac.

Freddie Mac Bulletin 2010-8 >

Contacts: Jeff Lischer, 202-383-1117

Contacts: Tony Hutchinson, 202-383-1120