Fannie Mae launches online resource for distressed homeowners
Fannie Mae has announced the launch of KnowYourOptions.com, a new consumer education Web site that outlines the choices available to homeowners who are struggling with their mortgage payments, and provides guidance on how they can contact and work with their mortgage company to find solutions. The online resource, which offers reliable and easy-to-understand information in both English and Spanish, expands on Fannie Mae's ongoing efforts to help struggling borrowers find alternatives to foreclosure. “Through foreclosure prevention programs, borrower outreach, underwriting guidelines and servicer engagement, Fannie Mae is taking a comprehensive approach to helping struggling borrowers,” said Jeff Hayward, senior vice president, Fannie Mae's national servicing organization. “Identifying accurate resources and finding the right answers can be a difficult challenge for borrowers facing hardship and a flurry of disparate, incomplete and sometimes fraudulent information. Know Your Options is the company's newest effort to reach distressed homeowners and is designed to bring the best information and guidance together in one place so that struggling borrowers can focus on finding solutions that work for their particular circumstances.” Key features of the KnowYourOptions.com site include: ►Interactive Options Finder to help homeowners identify options that might be right for their situation; ►Calculators to help borrowers understand how many of the options work, including refinance, repayment, forbearance, and modification; ►Videos featuring real homeowners discussing how they received help and housing counselors providing advice; ►A virtual assistant to walk homeowners through key areas of the site; and ►Next steps and helpful forms, including a financial checklist and contact log to help borrowers be prepared when contacting their mortgage company or housing counselor. For homeowners who are having trouble paying their mortgage, but want to stay in their homes, KnowYourOptions.com provides information on refinancing, repayment plans, forbearance, modifications and Deed-for-Lease. For homeowners who recognize that they can no longer afford their mortgages, but want to avoid having a foreclosure on their credit history, the site provides information on alternatives including short sales and deeds-in-lieu. “There are different answers for different situations and this site can be an important tool in the toolbox for borrowers trying to do the right thing,” Hayward said. “This initiative draws on the insights and feedback garnered through Fannie Mae's work with thousands of lender partners and housing counselors across the country, and will help connect borrowers with the servicing and counseling professionals they need to reach resolution. Our hope is that this site can be a trusted source of free information for borrowers and industry participants alike.” The company plans to implement a comprehensive marketing outreach campaign to raise awareness about the site, and also intends to use the site as a vehicle to roll out new options for borrowers that are currently being developed. For more information, visit www.knowyouroptions.com.