Freddie Mac Introduces Low Activity Fee, Updates Numerous Seller/Servicer Requirements

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On May 15, Freddie Mac issued Bulletin Number 2013-8, which includes numerous revisions to requirements for sellers and servicers. According to the Bulletin, beginning January 1, 2014, a seller/servicer will be charged a $7,500 low activity fee if the seller/servicer does not either (i) sell mortgages to Freddie Mac with an aggregate unpaid principal balance greater than $5 million during the immediately preceding calendar year, or (ii) service, or act as a servicing agent for, mortgages for Freddie Mac with an aggregate unpaid principal balance of at least $25 million as of December 31 of the immediately preceding calendar year. In addition, the Bulletin, among other things: (i) requires seller/servicers to comply with the deadlines specified by Freddie Mac when it requests cooperation in a fraud investigation; (ii) notifies sellers and reminds servicers that seller/servicers must direct mortgage insurers providing coverage on mortgages sold to and/or serviced for Freddie Mac to release data to Freddie Mac at Freddie Mac’s request; (iii) updates and revises requirements for Living Trusts and announces that mortgages secured by properties in which the legal and equitable title is held by a land trust will no longer be eligible for purchase under the Guide, unless certain conditions are met; and (iv) prohibits sellers that have guarantor master commitments from taking out fixed-rate cash contracts for the sale of super conforming mortgages.