Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fannie, Freddie and the home energy retrofit programs

Apparrently the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees Fannie and Freddie, has restricted mortgage lending opportunities for homeowners who live in municipalities that offer home energy retrofit programs. FHFA cited the basis of their decision to be that some retrofit programs present significant safety and soundness concerns. To read the letter from FHFA detailing this restriction, please click here. Yet, if you read the letter, it appears that the main problem is not safety and soundness, but instead lien priority. FHFA does not want Fannie and Freddie to loose their priority position because these programs are funded by local municipalities and may consequently jump the general first in time, first in right rule. The main take away for purchasers and agents is to be careful when seeking a Fannie or Freddie loan where a retrofit program is available.