Tags: Freddie | Mac | Homeowners | mortgage

Freddie Mac to Give Unemployed Homeowners a Break

Tuesday, 10 Jan 2012 07:43 AM

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac will give unemployment home owners a break by allowing them to skip monthly payments up to a year starting Feb . 1, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The policy matches one rolled out by Freddie's sister company, Fannie Mae, in 2010.

Previous forbearance programs went for about six months.

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"These expanded forbearance periods will provide families facing prolonged periods of unemployment with a greater measure of security by giving them more time to find new employment and resolve their delinquencies," says Tracy Mooney, a Freddie Mac senior vice president, The Los Angeles Times reports.

"We believe this will put more families back on track to successful long-term homeownership."

The housing sector continues to weigh on the economy, refusing to let it fully recover.

Many homeowners owe more on their homes than they are worth on top of those who are behind on mortgage payments.

One key economist points out that the housing sector will finally hit bottom this year.

Housing starts and groundbreaking figures should start to pick up now.

"We're pretty confident that housing starts have bottomed at this point," says Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, according to CNBC.

"It’s going to gradually pick up as the still large amount of vacancies and excess supply comes down."

Housing prices, however, will take longer to recover.

They'll still decline, but likely hit bottom during the second half of the year, Hatzius adds. "We’re pretty confident that we’re pretty close to the bottom here."

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