But first, who’s your mortgage servicer?

Some borrowers find it hard to tell who owns their mortgage. Many mortgages are sold, and the servicer you pay every month may be a middle man in the transaction. If you’re unsure, there are a few different ways to find out.

Call

The obvious first step would be to contact your mortgage servicer or loan officer for the quickest, most concise answer.

Online Help

Many mortgages are owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, offering mortgage search tools on their website.

Fannie Mae’s Search Tool

Freddie Mac’s Search Tool

There is also the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) website to look up your mortgage servicer.

Last Resort? Written Request

If for some reason, the previous two options are not available to you, a written request to your mortgage servicer is available. They are required to provide you the name, address, and telephone number of the owner of your loan.

Who’s the Biggest Provider of Federal Backed Home Loans?

Back in 2008, the federal government took control of troubled government mortgage banks, Fannie and Freddie Mac. Following the housing crash, it was obvious there needed to be some changes. These two institutions facilitated the home loan finance flow nationwide. The advantage of federal support enables them to dominate the secondary market with mortgages that meet the Federal Housing Administration’s (HUD) quality standards.

While the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) regulates, enforces, and monitors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s mortgage investment portfolios. HUD is then responsible for both company’s general housing missions.

Why is this important, especially in today’s market? If you have a government-backed mortgage, you can ask for up to 180 days “leniency in the event of foreclosure or other financial crisis”—a crisis such as COVID-19. If you miss a payment, your mortgage servicer is responsible for the full amount of the government-sponsored Fannie Mae mortgage. This is guaranteed under the Mortgage Receivables Program you signed.

Borrowers with government-backed mortgage loans who are in financial difficulty directly or indirectly due to COVID 19 can seek leniency by talking with their mortgage servicer. If the payment request is made to your service provider, you can receive up to 180 days of leniency to confirm that you have been in a “financial emergency.”

If you don’t have a government-backed mortgage, you may not get relief under the new rules. Generally, government-backed mortgages are mortgages purchased by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

Federally or GSE-backed

Right now, many Americans are wondering if they are protected under the CARES Act. Your mortgage must be federally insured, owned, guaranteed, or otherwise backed by a federal agency to qualify. Most, if not all, mortgages are federally or GSE-backed.

Following the steps outlined above, you should have the name, address, and telephone number of who owns/backs your loan.

Federally Backed or Funded COVID-19 Resources

The following links will redirect you to corona virus-related guidance for federal agencies and GSEs (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) resources

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) (including reverse mortgage) resources

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA) resources

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) resources

Fannie Mae resources

Freddie Mac resources

Most homeowners are benefiting from choosing a federally backed mortgage, shouldn’t you? If your searching for your first home loan or refinancing during these troubled time, apply now!