Not wanting to play the Grinch this Christmas, mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac on Thursday issued an eviction moratorium that'll span the holidays.
For homeowners in homes with mortgages that were either owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac, there'll be a suspension of eviction lockouts from Dec. 18 through Jan. 3, 2013.
"At this time of year we want to bring some relief to families who confronted financial difficulties and went through foreclosure," Chris Bowden, a senior vice president for the government-controlled entity, said in a statement. "We also want to remind homeowners going into the New Year facing financial challenges to reach out for help as soon as they can by calling their mortgage servicer."
Servicers are the companies that collect monthly mortgage payments for distribution to investors who've purchased mortgage bonds. Most banks sell the home loans they've underwritten into a secondary market, where they're bundled together into mortgage bonds.
The moratorium does not stop pre-foreclosure or post-foreclosure activities, and the companies contracted by Freddie Mac are allowed to keep filing the necessary documentation needed to evict homeowners once the holidays and the moratorium's end date have passed.
Think of it not as a Christmas pardon, rather a stay of execution.