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Freddie Mac Offers Mortgage Assistance to Flood Victims

Freddie Mac said Wednesday that its ""full menu of mortgage relief options"":http://www.freddiemac.com/singlefamily/service/disastermgmt.html is being extended to families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the recent floods in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and West Virginia.

The mortgage giant is giving servicers the discretion to reduce or suspend mortgage payments for up to 12 months[IMAGE] [COLUMN_BREAK]

for borrowers with Freddie Mac-owned mortgages. Each case must be individually assessed to determine which alternative will best fit the homeowner's circumstances.

""Freddie Mac and the nation's mortgage servicers will work together to advance available mortgage relief to homeowners affected by these devastating floods,"" said Ingrid Beckles, Freddie Mac's SVP of default asset management. ""We are instructing our servicers to work with borrowers with Freddie Mac-owned mortgages to receive forbearance on their mortgage payments for up to one year.""

The GSE is also encouraging servicers to waive penalties and late fees for borrowers with disaster-damaged homes, and is recommending they not report forbearance or delinquencies caused by the disaster to credit bureaus, so as not to damage the homeowner's record.

In addition, Freddie Mac says it is strongly urging servicers to suspend foreclosure and eviction proceedings in the affected areas for up to 12 months.