Massachusetts AG Urges FHFA Action On REO Sale Restrictions And Principal Reduction Options


On May 14, Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) Martha Coakley sent a letter to FHFA Director Mel Watt threatening legal action if the FHFA does not direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, when they sell a foreclosed property, to comply with a state law that prohibits a creditor from conditioning that sale on a requirement that the new owner cannot resell or rent the property back to the former homeowner. The letter explains that the law allows non-profits in the state to purchase REO and sell them back to the same borrower with more favorable financing terms and at a lower value. The AG states that her office is “considering all available legal avenues – including litigation – to ensure compliance” with the state law. The letter also reasserts the AG’s view that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should include principal reductions as a loan modification option. Under its former Acting Director Edward DeMarco, the FHFA decided in July 2012 not to direct Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to offer principal reductions.


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