Industry News

Freddie Mac extends hurricane relief through August

Restrictions eased on down payments, credit reporting

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Freddie Mac announced Tuesday it is extending many of its emergency hurricane relief policies through Aug. 31, 2006, in the Gulf Coast counties and parishes hardest hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, according to a May 1 Guide Bulletin sent to the company's seller/servicers. The extended policies had been scheduled to expire at the end of May. The new Bulletin also makes several underwriting policy changes intended to promote the housing recovery in the least-damaged Gulf Coast jurisdictions. "The May 1 Bulletin continues to give servicers the authority to extend relief to borrowers with properties in the worst disaster areas, while recognizing that there are now more Gulf Coast counties and parishes with the economic strength to justify a return to pre-Katrina business operations," said Janet Eakes, senior vice president of Freddie Mac's operations division. Freddie Mac's hurricane policies apply only in federally designated disaster areas where FEMA individual assistance is ava...