Fannie Mae recently changed their policies regarding the purchase of a home after a major credit event like a foreclosure, short sale and bankruptcy. The changes are both positive and negative, but seem to focus on reducing the wait times for those that encountered an “extenuating circumstance” or in layman’s terms a one-time or temporary event that led to the negative credit event. These changes show Fannie Mae’s focus on helping those that were hit hard by the recession.

Derogatory EventWaiting Period RequirementsWaiting Period with Extenuating Circumstances
Bankruptcy Chapter 74 Years2 Years
Bankruptcy Chapter 132 Years from discharge date
4 Years from dismissal date
2 Years from discharge date
2 Years from dismissal date
Foreclosure Included in Bankruptcy4 Years2 Years
Short Sale or Deed in Lieu4 Years2 Years
Foreclosure7 Years3 Years

Requirements

After bankruptcy, foreclosure, or short sale a borrow must re-establish credit in order to meet minimum Fannie Mae guidelines. For specific down payment and documentation needed please contact me directly.

Questions

What’s considered an extenuating circumstance?

Extenuating Circumstances must be verifiable hardships that are considered out of the borrower’s control that significantly reduce income or expense. This can be anywhere from job loss to health issues.

I foreclosed when my property lost substantial value, is that an extenuating circumstance?

Unfortunately no, that falls under a strategic default and is exactly why Fannie Mae is drawing a line in the sand. If you fall into this category waiting 3 years and using FHA may be the best option for you.

Jeff Womack

Jeff Womack

Sr Loan Officer and Mortgage Blogger at The Mortgage House Inc.
HARP, FHA, VA, Conventional, USDA, down payment assistance. Blogger and mortgage expert helping potential home buyers finance homes . Serving Stockton, Lodi, Elk Grove, Sacramento (NMLS #262055)
Jeff Womack

@jwmortgagehouse

Mortgage & real estate information with your home loan expert in the Stockton and Sacramento area.
Jeff Womack