Freddie Mac redoubles delinquent borrower effort

By Al Yoon

NEW YORK, Jan 28 (BestGrowthStock) – Freddie Mac, one of the two
U.S. mortgage finance giants, on Thursday said it was stepping
up its effort to contact and encourage troubled borrowers to
seek ways to save their homes.

The government-controlled company is opening four new help
centers in some of the hardest-hit areas including Southern
California’s Inland Empire, near Los Angeles. It is working
with 13 national and local nonprofit organizations to convince
delinquent borrowers to pursue a modification.

Government and private measures to stop foreclosures by
easing loan terms has seen limited success over the past two
years, in part as lenders have found it difficult to contact
the borrowers or collect required documents.

“We know that fear and frustration are keeping thousands of
borrowers from getting the help they are eligible to receive,”
Freddie Mac (FRE.N: ) Chief Executive Officer Ed Haldeman said in
a statement.

Delays in collecting documents from borrowers in President
Barack Obama’s benchmark Home Affordable Modification Program
have disappointed Treasury officials, and cast doubt on HAMP’s
overall success. In response, the administration on Thursday
said it was instructing mortgage servicers to collect documents
for HAMP modifications before trial payment periods are
started, instead of afterward.

The new counseling effort is geared toward borrowers who
may be eligible for modifications but never called their lender
or gave up trying in frustration, Freddie Mac said. It will
also address debt issues that could jeopardize a borrower’s
ability to stay current after they get their loan modified.

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(Editing by James Dalgleish)

Freddie Mac redoubles delinquent borrower effort