Courtesy USAA Sometimes folks in the military receive Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders — essentially, it’s time for them to pack up and move, often on short notice.

Of course, if they own a home they’ll have to sell it, and that’s not always easy.

To help them, at least a little, servicers of Fannie and Freddie loans have received instructions from no fewer than five federal agencies — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the FDIC, the Fed, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency:

  • Military members with PCS orders will be able to make short sales even if they’re current on their payments.
  • Once a short sale is concluded, they can’t pursue a deficiency judgment — meaning they won’t try to recoup the difference between the mortgage owed and the amount of the short sale, which happens in some states.

Those agencies aren’t making this policy just to help military families. According to the statement, it’s a result of mortgage servicers’ practices that “have the potential to mislead or otherwise cause harm to homeowners with PCS orders,” such as not explaining what all their refinance/assistance options are, asking them to waive their legal rights, instructing them to miss payments, and so on.

No more of that nonsense.

If the Agencies determine that a servicer has engaged in any acts or practices that are unfair, deceptive, or abusive, or that otherwise violate Federal consumer financial laws and regulations, the agencies will take appropriate supervisory and enforcement actions

Click here to read the details of the new guidelines (PDF).