Cenlar Named HomeSaver Advance Servicer

Mae has named Ewing, N.J.-based Cenlar FSB as a third-party servicer of HomeSaver Advance (HSA) loans, the company announced in a letter to servicers last month. Cenlar's designation comes as Fannie Mae looks to downplay the program, which was established last July and advances unsecured loans to cure past-due amounts to delinquent borrowers who are able to make future scheduled payments but unable to pay past due amounts. According to comments made by Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director James Lockhart in May, early HSA offerings showed a recidivism rate of almost 70%. In the agency's first-quarter report, the FHFA noted that Fannie Mae is focusing on increasing loan modifications rather than HSA notes. Fannie Mae's first-quarter volume summary reiterates this point: "Although HomeSaver Advance loans continue to be a viable foreclosure prevention solution, other home retention strategies, particularly modifications, are becoming more prevalent based on assessments of the needs and condition of borrowers," the report says. The number of HSA loans made in the first quarter dropped to 20,424 from 25,783 in the fourth quarter of last year. The average advance during the first quarter of this year was $7,100, compared with an average advance of approximately $6,500 for loans purchased during 2008. The aggregate unpaid principal balance and carrying value of Fannie Mae's HSA loans were $516 million and $5 million, respectively, as of March 31. SOURCES: Freddie Ma


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