Walk Away From Mortgage? Fannie Mae Will Give You the Freeze

Fannie Mae is targetting homeowners who strategically default
Fannie Mae is targetting homeowners who strategically default

If you choose to walk away from your mortgage rather than work something out with your servicer, Fannie Mae will block you from getting another mortgage for seven years from the date of the final foreclosure on the house. That's according to new rules that go into effect immediately.

But, if you do work with your servicer to come to some agreement -- whether a loan modification, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, pre-foreclosure sale or short sale -- your wait time to buy a new house will be much shorter. In fact to encourage people to work with their lenders rather than just walking away, Fannie Mae is shortening the time you'll be eligible for another Fannie Mae mortgage.

"Walking away from a mortgage is bad for borrowers and bad for communities and our approach is meant to deter the disturbing trend toward strategic defaulting," Terence Edwards, Fannie Mae's executive vice president for credit portfolio management, said in making the announcement.

"On the flip side, borrowers facing hardship who make a good faith effort to resolve their situation with their servicer, will preserve the option to be considered for a future Fannie Mae loan in a shorter period of time."