In a press release this morning, Fannie Mae announced a new program for homeowners who are facing foreclosure and who do not qualify for a loan modification: Deed for Lease. Distressed homeowners would complete a deed in lieu of foreclosure back to the lender anad then rent their home from the lender at market rate. Leases may be up to 12 months followed with a month to month option.
Jay Ryan, Vice President of Fannie Mae says:
“This new program helps eliminate some of the uncertainty of foreclosure, keeps families and tenants in their homes during a transitional period, and helps to stabilize neighborhoods and communities.”
For homeowners to qualify for the Deed for Lease Program:
- The home must be occupied as a primary residence. Investment properties may be eligibile as long as there is a tenant occupying the propert and willing to participate in the Deed for Lease Program.
- This program is not available for second homes or vacation homes.
- Available for 1-4 unit properties where Fannie Mae owns the mortgage (not available for government guaranteed or insured loans: FHA, HUD, VA, USDA).
- Second mortgages/liens on the property are not allowed;
- Borrower/tenant must be able to document that the new lease payment does not exceed 31% of their gross monthly income.
- At least three mortgage payments must have been made since the last origination/loan modification.
- Borrower may not be more than 12 months past due on the mortgage.
- Borrower/tenant may not be actively involved in a bankruptcy.
- Rental insurance may be required if there are pets. (You probably want rental insurance regardless).
- Borrower/tenant will need to pay a lease application fee of $75 fee per unit.
I’m wondering if this will be considered a taxable sale — will there be excise tax due? A title insurance policy will be required to prove the title is “marketable”. The properties will be inspected to make sure the occupants have kept the home in good condition and to permit the marketing of the property for sale. I would hope that the Deed for Lease tennant would have the first right to re-purchase their home during the 12 month period. According to Fannie Mae’s announcement:
“A Deed for Lease property that is subsequently sold includes an assignment of the lease to the buyer.”
Homeowners will need to work directly with their mortgage servicer (who they make their mortgage payment to) in order to see if they qualify. According to Fannie Mae, mortgage servicers can offer this program immediately–however, you can bet it may take a while for this program to become available. Fannie Mae offers these instructions for homeowners who are considering this program.
I’m wondering if there is excise tax due on the sale of the property to the lender.
The intent of the program, which I applaud, is:
“to minimize family displacement, deterioration of neighborhoods caused by vandalism and theft to vacant homes, and the effect these have on families, communities and home price stabilization”.
I’m sure we all have abanoned homes in our neighborhoods and know families who have lost their homes. Hopefully this will help make things a little better for all while our housing industry and our economy is trying to recover.