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UPDATE

Military to get aid on mortgages

May 11, 2003|From Times wire reports

Lenders are making it easier for people in the military to handle their mortgages while on active duty.

A group of mortgage finance companies said many military personnel can now temporarily halt or reduce mortgage payments by providing their active-duty orders as the only needed proof of hardship.

The simplified procedure for requesting forbearance relieves military personnel of the burden of proving hardship with a full range of financial statements as required by the Sailors' and Soldiers' Civil Relief Act.

Large lenders, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said they would report temporary payment adjustments to credit agencies as "military indulgence" rather than forbearance, thus protecting the borrower's credit history.

"Somehow, it's the idea of home that you really miss" on active duty, said Daniel Mudd, Fannie Mae vice chairman and chief operating officer. "The last thing [military members] should have to think about is keeping those homes."

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