Freddie Mac Updates Foreclosure, Abandoned Property Requirements

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On October 18, Freddie Mac issued Bulletin 2013-22, which updates servicing requirements related to foreclosures and management of abandoned properties. The Bulletin states that servicers may, without obtaining prior written approval, instruct foreclosure counsel to conduct a foreclosure in Freddie Mac’s name when applicable law precludes the servicer from conducting the foreclosure in its own name, and establishes other requirements for servicers that do so. The Bulletin also updates requirements regarding vesting the title after foreclosure, stating that for conventional mortgages servicers must ensure that the title to the property is vested in Freddie Mac’s name (if the property is not purchased by a third party), unless it is in Freddie Mac’s best interest to have the title vested in the servicer’s name after the foreclosure sale, and then have the title to the property transferred to Freddie Mac via quitclaim deed. With regard to preservation of abandoned properties, the Bulletin, for example, (i) informs servicers of new expense codes and limits, (ii) introduces new pricing requirements for property preservation expense items that identify the per unit cost that Freddie Mac finds reasonable, and (iii) removes the requirement that servicers obtain pre-approval for reimbursement of certain vacant property registration fees. The Bulletin also announces certain other changes related to foreclosures and abandoned properties.