Fannie Mae has unleashed a new website purporting to give consumers a new opportunity to explore options regarding their home loans including, but not limited to, information regarding short sales and foreclosures. The website, http://www.knowyouroptions.com/, is available in both English and Spanish and is designed to be a “one-stop-shop” for those seeking foreclosure alternatives. It provides educational videos, mortgage calculators, and even a virtual assistant to navigate through the site. Although some of the information may be very helpful, it is somewhat puzzling that Fannie Mae has provided this information to consumers in what appears to be an attempt at looking like a “friendly investor” when they have also recently stated that they will not agree to any deficiency releases for Fannie Mae backed loans.
Furthermore, Fannie Mae has openly declared that they are increasing penalties for those they believe have not worked effectively with their borrower to avoid foreclosure, stating that they will deny these borrowers access to a Fannie Mae backed mortgage loan for a period of seven years. The issue that Fannie Mae fails to recognize is that many of those who have defaulted on their loans have tried tirelessly to work with their lenders for a short sale or loan modification only to see their property go into foreclosure. Although the website may offer some useful information to consumers, Fannie Mae should still come with the label “buyers beware.”
Kelle L. Kuebler, Attorney*
*Licensed only in New York and Connecticut