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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

HUD and FHFA clarify Freddie Mac policies on purchasing group-home mortgages

Federal Issues HUD FHFA Mortgages Fair Housing Act Fair Lending

Federal Issues

On September 22, HUD and FHFA announced policy clarifications concerning Freddie Mac’s purchase of mortgages secured by property owned by an individual that is occupied by people with disabilities. According to HUD and FHFA, the assurance that Freddie Mac will purchase mortgages secured by group homes (which are protected under the Fair Housing Act) “should encourage lenders in extending credit for such mortgages, thus providing more community-based living opportunities for persons with disabilities.” These clarifications were included in a Freddie Mac update earlier this month to its seller/servicer guide. The announcement follows a HUD investigation of a mortgage lender who allegedly denied a consumer’s loan for a group home based on the incorrect premise that Freddie Mac would not agree to buy the mortgage. (Covered by InfoBytes here.) After HUD reported the misunderstanding to Freddie Mac and FHFA, Freddie Mac agreed to revise its policies to clarify that it has always been willing to buy mortgages secured by a group home.

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