Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will allow borrowers who are current on their mortgage payments to qualify for short sales.
Starting Nov. 1, owners whose loans have been purchased or guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie may qualify for a short sale if they fit key hardship criteria including: unemployment; divorce; long-term disability; a change of employment that is more than 50 miles from the current home; a business failure; death of the primary or secondary wage earner; or a natural or man-made disaster.
Fannie and Freddie will allow borrowers who are current on their mortgage payments — not seriously delinquent as traditionally required — to qualify for short sales, provided they fit the hardship criteria.
In the past, short sales often have been drawn out and contentious, sometimes taking nine months or more to close. They have also had a high rate of failure and cancellations, when buyers get frustrated and bail out of the transaction after waiting for banks and loan servicers to make decisions and process paperwork.
Another other key change in Fannie and Freddie short sales is that members of the armed forces who receive permanent change-of-status orders and are underwater will be automatically eligible for short sales, even if they are current on their loan payments.