In a speech Tuesday at the Women in Housing and Finance Public Policy Luncheon in Washington, D.C., FHFA Director Mel Watt said he expected to make an announcement in the next 30 days on whether or not the Agency had found a win-win solution for principal reduction—or if they would take principal reduction off the table entirely.
Watt noted that the FHFA has been substantially criticized both before and since he became FHFA Director for not including principal reduction as part of its loss mitigation strategy. One of the factors to consider, Watt said, is balancing the declining number of seriously delinquent borrowers with the significant operational complexity and the cost to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and servicers of implementing a principal reduction program.
The Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2015 was approved in the House by voice vote. The bill passed in the Senate by a unanimous vote in December and now needs only the president’s signature to become law. The bill extends through 2017 the provision of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that safeguards active duty service members against foreclosure for one year following the completion of their service in the field.