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Frequently Asked Questions
1.Who is Fannie Mae?
2.I am worried about foreclosure. Where can I turn for advice? What will it cost?
3.I have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that’s about to reset. Can I refinance through Fannie Mae?
4.I'm not behind on my mortgage payments yet, but worry that I will be soon. What should I do?
5.If I'm delinquent with my mortgage payments, what options do I have?
6.I am facing foreclosure. What are my options to save my home?
7.My house has been foreclosed. Is there anything I can do to get it back?
8.If my foreclosed home sells for less than what I owe, will I owe my mortgage company the balance?
9.Do I get any money back if my foreclosed home sells for more than what I owe?
10.How long do I have before I have to vacate my foreclosed home?
11.Is it best to walk away from my property if I can no longer make the payments?
12.How long will a foreclosure stay on my credit report?
Who is Fannie Mae?
Our job is to help those who house America. We provide mortgage companies with the resources they need to support responsible lending. In addition, Fannie Mae is committed to helping homeowners remain in their homes. We work with mortgage companies (i.e., mortgage lenders and servicers) and housing counselors to help homeowners who may be experiencing hardships. For more information, visit www.fanniemae.com.
I am worried about foreclosure. Where can I turn for advice? What will it cost?
An experienced housing counselor can help you review your personal financial situation and plan for the future. Best of all, you do not need to pay a private company for counseling. Contact the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) for free counseling services available in both English and Spanish. This hotline is staffed by HUD-approved credit counselors who can guide you through your options.
I have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that’s about to reset. Can I refinance through Fannie Mae?
No. Fannie Mae does not offer loans directly to consumers. Contact your mortgage company to determine if you qualify for a refinance. If your loan is owned by Fannie Mae, ask your mortgage company if you are eligible for the government’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Find mortgage company contact information in your mortgage coupon book or monthly mortgage statement.
I'm not behind on my mortgage payments yet, but worry that I will be soon. What should I do?
Contact your mortgage company as soon as you can—even if you haven’t missed a payment but think you might in the near future. You can also discuss your situation with a housing counselor by calling the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (4673). Find contact information for your mortgage company in your mortgage coupon book or monthly mortgage statement.
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If I'm delinquent with my mortgage payments, what options do I have?
Your mortgage company can help you understand the specific options available to you, which could include a short-term solution to help you get back on your feet or a long-term solution to modify the terms of your mortgage. Be sure to review possible options so you can have an informed discussion with your mortgage company.
I am facing foreclosure. What are my options to save my home?
The sooner you call your mortgage company, the more options that may be available to help you avoid foreclosure. Be sure to review possible options so you can have an informed discussion with your mortgage company. Contact information is on your monthly mortgage statement or coupon book. If you are unable to reach your mortgage company or prefer speaking with a housing counselor, contact the Homeowners HOPE™ Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).
My house has been foreclosed. Is there anything I can do to get it back?
If your home has already been foreclosed and transferred to Fannie Mae, your ability to regain your home may vary depending on the state in which your home is located. If you have been contacted by an eviction attorney, please reach out to the attorney as soon as possible to let them know you wish to regain your home. Otherwise, if the property has been listed for sale, contact the real estate agent who is handling the listing. If you are unable to contact the eviction attorney or listing agent, call the Fannie Mae Resource Center at 1-800-7FANNIE (732-6643).
If my foreclosed home sells for less than what I owe, will I owe my mortgage company the balance?
Your mortgage company may require you to pay the difference between what your foreclosed home sold for and what you owe on it. (This amount is sometimes referred to as a deficiency. Although for properties located in some states, the law restricts or does not allow the mortgage company to maintain an action against you for a deficiency.) That’s why it’s important to begin working with your mortgage company before the property reaches foreclosure. By doing so, you may have other options available to you, such as a Short Sale or a Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure, which may be able to help you avoid foreclosure and resolve/settle your mortgage delinquency.
Do I get any money back if my foreclosed home sells for more than what I owe?
You would only get money back if the property is sold at a foreclosure sale where the purchaser is a third party (that is, a party other than the mortgage company) and the purchaser bids more than is required to pay your indebtedness in full (as well as paying off any other liens, such as judgment liens and a second mortgage). If your mortgage company acquires the property during the foreclosure sale, any gain from a later sale would go to the mortgage company.
How long do I have before I have to vacate my foreclosed home?
If you are foreclosed upon, your rights to occupy the property will be governed by local and state law, but your lender will likely start eviction proceedings quickly. Always check with your mortgage company on any options that may be available, such as the potential to lease the home or relocation assistance.
Is it best to walk away from my property if I can no longer make the payments?
No. There are options available that may help you avoid foreclosure, so walking away from your property is not a good choice. If you are no longer able to afford your mortgage and would like to leave, you may be eligible for a Short Sale or a Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure. Or you may be able to lease the property for a period of time with the Deed-for-Lease program. If you abandon your property, you may not qualify for assistance and you will not be able to get a Fannie Mae mortgage to purchase a home for at least 7 years.
How long will a foreclosure stay on my credit report?
Foreclosures are very damaging to your credit and may impact your credit rating for as long as seven to ten years. A foreclosure can make it difficult to get a loan for a future home purchase, college expenses, get a major credit card, or it may even potentially affect future employment (many employers screen for credit as a part of a background check). In addition, when you are able to get credit, your interest rates will likely be higher. Avoid foreclosure—speak to your mortgage company or call the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).