August 5th, 2010 9:40 AM by Korene L Clopine-Seaman
Fannie Mae has rolled out a new interactive online resource for homeowners struggling with their mortgage payments. It’s KnowYourOptions.com, and it’s designed to be a virtual one-stop-shop for anyone facing financial hardship and in need of a foreclosure prevention solution.
Eight months in the making, the site provides guidance on how homeowners can contact and work with their mortgage company to identify foreclosure alternatives for their specific situation.
The site is available in both English and Spanish, and includes educational videos, mortgage calculators, financial forms and checklists, and even contact details for local housing counselors and information on homeowner outreach events. A virtual assistant walks visitors through the key areas of the site to ensure ease-of-use and trouble-free navigation.
“Through foreclosure prevention programs, borrower outreach, underwriting guidelines, and servicer engagement, Fannie Mae is taking a comprehensive approach to helping struggling borrowers,” said Jeff Hayward, SVP of Fannie Mae’s National Servicing Organization. “Identifying accurate resources and finding
the right answers can be a difficult challenge for borrowers facing hardship and a flurry of disparate, incomplete, and sometimes fraudulent information.”
Hayward explained that KnowYourOptions.com is the GSE’s newest effort to reach distressed homeowners and is designed to bring the best information and guidance together in one place.
For homeowners who are having trouble paying their mortgage, but want to keep their homes and can likely maintain payments, KnowYourOptions.com provides information on refinancing, repayment plans, forbearance, modifications, and Fannie Mae’s Deed-for-Lease program.
Those homeowners who recognize that they can no longer afford their mortgages, but want to avoid having a foreclosure on their credit history, can find information on alternative options, such as short sales and deeds-in-lieu, including how to successfully execute these complicated transactions – what to do, what not to do, and how not to get scammed.
“There are different answers for different situations and this site can be an important tool in the toolbox for borrowers trying to do the right thing,” Hayward said.
He added, “This initiative draws on the insights and feedback garnered through Fannie Mae’s work with thousands of lender partners and housing counselors across the country, and will help connect borrowers with the servicing and counseling professionals they need to reach resolution. Our hope is that this site can be a trusted source of free information for borrowers and industry participants alike.”
Fannie Mae plans to implement a marketing outreach campaign to raise awareness about the site, and also intends to use the site as a vehicle to roll out new options for borrowers that are currently in development.