Commentary: Fannie Mae's good decision on foreclosed homes

This editorial appeared in The Kansas City Star.

Fannie Mae’s recent announcement — that it would allow tenants to remain in place even if their homes have been foreclosed — makes sense, for both humane and practical reasons. Fannie’s sister agency, Freddie Mac, would do well to adopt a similar approach.

Normally owners of foreclosed homes would want them empty to facilitate a ready sale. If renters still occupy the house, eviction procedures can make any transaction much more complex.

But today we do not have normal market conditions. There is a glut of homes, in the Kansas City area and around the country. And given the lengthy period it often takes to sell them — if they can be sold — it is better if they can remain occupied.

Occupied houses are better maintained and less likely to be vandalized. They are better for neighborhoods in general, and many Kansas City communities hit by foreclosures can use all the help they can get.

One of the misfortunes of the upheaval in the housing market is that many families have faithfully paid their rent every month but have been evicted anyway because of foreclosures.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Kansas City Star.

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