The L.A. Time ran a story citing that Fannie Mae plans to get tough on homeowners who can afford their mortgages but walk away from them in what is now called a “strategic default.” So tough in fact they plan to sue these homeowners that do that.
Fannie Mae also states they plan to limit access to new home loans for seven years to these walkers.
It seems to me the area the massive Fannie Mae can nail consumers on is by going after the balance owed after the homeowner hands back the house. What the lender can do is sue the homeowner for a deficiency judgment. But if the homeowner files bankruptcy it will kill the deficiency judgment. Question is, if solvent homeowners simply walk away from their mortgages because they are upside down on their mortgage and bankruptcy is not feasible then a deficiency judgment may be likely.
The article stated:
Fannie Mae also said it would make new mortgages harder to obtain for borrowers if it can be proved that they engaged in a “strategic default” — abandoning a home to foreclosure not because the required payments are unaffordable but because the mortgage is larger than the value of the residence. For such a borrower, Fannie said it would not buy or guarantee another home loan for seven years.
Borrowers who worked in good faith with their loan servicers to try to stay in their homes would be barred from Fannie loans for only two or three years, even if they eventually lost their homes after attempts at loan modifications failed.
You can read the full article here.