‘First Look’ window for Fannie, Freddie REOs could stay open longer

Senate Democrats want to see more sales to owner-occupants

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Two prominent Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee are pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's regulator to prolong the time period during which first-time homebuyers and other owner-occupants get a "First Look" at purchasing homes repossessed by the mortgage giants before they're offered to investors. The First Look period for "HomeSteps" homes in Freddie Mac's "real estate owned" (REO) inventory is currently 20 days. Fannie Mae won't take offers from investors on "HomePath" properties until they've been on the market for 15 days (the First Look period for Fannie and Freddie REOs is 30 days in Nevada). During the First Look window, Fannie and Freddie will consider offers only from people who want to live in the homes, and from nonprofits and other groups involved in neighborhood stabilization efforts. In addition to lengthening the First Look window, Sens. Mark Warner and Elizabeth Warren are asking the Federal Housing Finance Agency to consider instructing Fannie and Fredd...