Freddie Mac Releases Detailed Procedures for Tracking Expenses
On February 15, Freddie Mac published Single Family Seller/Servicer Guide Bulletin 2012-5 to implement new requirements related to the City of Chicago’s Vacant Property Ordinance. As previously reported, the FHFA sued Chicago over the ordinance, which requires lenders to register vacant properties and pay a $500 registration fee per property. Whether the property has been foreclosed upon or not, the ordinance also imposes maintenance and other obligations on lenders and their agents (including servicers, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac), and includes fines for non-compliance. The Bulletin, which follows up on a December 12 industry notice, establishes procedures for tracking and submitting expenses incurred pursuant to the ordinance and directs servicers to make required payments “under protest.” The Bulletin also eliminates the requirement for servicers to obtain prior consent from Freddie Mac to decline an application for a Mortgage assumption and reinforces the requirement that the servicer, for itself and on behalf of Freddie Mac, must waive all rights to seek deficiencies for short payoffs and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions on Freddie Mac mortgages that have closed in accordance with the Guide.