It seems that Uncle Sam does not want to be the Grinch this Christmas and is giving a gift of no foreclosures during the holidays. At least its GSE mortgage lenders in government conservatorship, Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE), both announced today that they are not going to evict homeowners during the Christmas holiday season. Both companies have ordered its eviction attorneys to suspend all evictions involving foreclosed occupied single family properties with Fannie-owned or Freddie-owned mortgages during December 19, 2009 to January 3, 2010.
The Fannie Mae release noted, “All owner-occupants and tenants living in foreclosed properties the company holds will not be subject to evictions during the holiday time frame. The company will also support the efforts of the servicers it works with that are taking similar actions…. No family should have to face the prospect of being evicted during the holiday season.”
The Freddie Mac release noted, “If the property is occupied, our attorneys will halt the eviction during this holiday moratorium. In these extraordinary times, we want to provide a greater measure of certainty to these families during the holidays.”
The Freddie Mac release also noted that this would include two-to-four unit properties as well.
Maybe the old saying “Hi, I am from the government and I am here to help” can still be good news after all. This is perhaps one of the more unusual turns of the housing crisis yet.
Ebenezer Scrooge would be exclaiming, “Bah!Humbug!” to this. Sometimes you just cannot make news up better than the real news.
JON C. OGG