Fannie Mae Ramps Up Short Sale Portal

© ARELLO® (Association of Real Estate License Law Officials)

Reprinted courtesy of ARELLO® Boundaries magazine.

Government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) Fannie Mae recently launched enhancements to its online tool that helps real estate professionals to navigate and close notoriously slow, cumbersome and complicated short sale transactions.

Along with its counterpart GSE Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae supports secondary U.S. mortgage markets by acquiring and securitizing mortgage loans. The GSEs own or guarantee about half of all U.S. mortgages and currently back the vast majority of new mortgage loans. Short sales, of course, involve homes that are sold for less than the amount owed on the existing mortgage. For loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae, the GSE must approve the transaction since it will incur any resulting loss.

Fannie Mae’s portal is a resource for listing agents who are working with clients considering or pursuing a short sale on a property whose first lien is held by the GSE. Over the last few years, the system has been upgraded several times. A recent enhancement allows real estate professionals to “escalate” short sale problems such as valuation disputes, servicer delays and uncooperative subordinate lien holders.

Upon submission of an “inquiry”, a Fannie Mae representative responds and gets directly involved in an attempt to resolve the problem. With the latest round of system upgrades, the portal now allows listing agents to determine if Fannie Mae owns the mortgage, understand Fannie Mae homeowner short sale eligibility requirements, request list price guidance, submit an accepted contract offer and take steps to close the transaction.

One of the primary new features will soon allow listing brokers to negotiate and receive first lien approval on a short sale directly from Fannie Mae, which allows earlier contact with Fannie Mae representatives and the ability to preempt some of the problems that continue to plague short sale transactions. Fannie Mae says that allowing real estate professionals to directly negotiate short sales is an important step in its continuing efforts to streamline the short sale process. (See the article, “New Requirements for Fannie Mae Short Sales”, concerning North Carolina limits on negotiating and counselling “short sales” in the same issue of the Bulletin (October 2014).

This article came from the October 2014-Vol45-2 edition of the bulletin.