The Federal Housing Finance Agency has released new short sale guidelines for lenders who service the loans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The idea is to A) have clear, consistent guidelines for every government-owned loan, and B) speed up the process of short-sale approval.

Under the new guidelines, which take effect November 1…

  • Homeowners with an “eligible hardship” (e.g., death, divorce, disability, or relocation for a job) will be able to get a short sale approved even if they’re current on their mortgage.
  • F&F won’t try to recoup the shortfall if borrowers can contribute something
  • Service members who are being relocated will be automatically eligible for short sales
  • F&F will offer second lien holders up to $6,000 to not raise a fuss
  • Offers that meet the new guidelines can be approved by servicers directly, without going through F&F.

All of which adds up to a (potentially) quicker and simpler process for clients who are trying to get on with their lives — and the Realtors who work for them.

Obviously there’s a lot more to it, so click here to read the details from the FHFA (PDF).