Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fannie Mae offers help with closing costs to foreclosure buyers

Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. mortgage-finance company, is offering buyers of its foreclosed homes as much as 3.5 percent in closing-cost assistance to help clear an inventory of properties acquired during the housing slump.

The offer is good through May 1, the D.C.-based company said Thursday. Buyers can choose help on closing costs or an equivalent amount for appliances, the company said.

Fannie Mae has been trying to trim its stock of foreclosed homes, an inventory that has risen amid a three-year housing slump in which home prices have plummeted. The move is designed to foster sales in a still-weak housing market, said Terry Edwards, Fannie Mae's executive vice president of credit portfolio management.

"Attracting qualified buyers to the market and reducing the inventory of vacant homes is critical to stabilizing neighborhoods and helping the market recover," he said in a statement. "Many families are taking advantage of the federal homebuyer tax credit to buy a new home so this is a great time for Fannie Mae to offer some additional help."

The company sold 89,691 foreclosed homes in the third quarter, up from 39,864 in the previous period, it said in its most recent quarterly filing. Fannie Mae had 72,275 such homes, called real-estate-owned properties, as of Sept. 30.

-- Bloomberg News

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