Foreclosure Fire Sale: Will Bulk 'REO to Rental' Program Fly?

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With an estimated 3.6 million more foreclosures expected over the next two years, the government-backed mortgage giants have a proposition for you: How'd you like to take a couple (hundred) homes off their hands?

In a recently announced program, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates the quasi-government lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is offering qualified investors the opportunity to buy pools of foreclosed homes, provided they agree to rent the properties for a certain number of years.

In its pilot run, the foreclosure-to-rental initiative aims to shift some of the burden of managing foreclosed and vacant homes from Fannie Mae to private investors, who'll be tasked with maintaining the properties. Freddie Mac and FHA loans may be considered at a later stage of the program.