Servicing Guide

Published September 9, 2020

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What are the servicer’s responsibilities when inspecting and protecting a vacant or abandoned property?

The servicer must inspect a property as soon as possible after it becomes aware of the possibility that the property may be vacant or abandoned.

When the property inspection confirms that the property is vacant, the servicer must take the actions listed in the following table.

The servicer must...
 

Make immediate arrangements to protect the property from vandalism and the elements to the extent that local laws allow such action. See Overview of General Servicer Duties and Responsibilities in A2-1-01, General Servicer Duties and Responsibilities and the Property Preservation Matrix and Reference Guide for additional information.

 

Attempt to locate the borrower to determine the reason for the vacancy.

 

Contact any other lienholders to determine if any action has been taken and their intentions.

 

Notify the property insurance carrier about the vacancy to ensure that appropriate insurance coverage is being maintained.

The following table describes the servicer’s next steps depending on the mortgage loan status if the property inspection confirms that the property is vacant.

If the property inspection confirms that the property is vacant and the mortgage loan is... Then the servicer must...

delinquent

complete a property inspection every calendar month as long as the mortgage loan remains 60 or more days delinquent without regard to whether QRPC, as described in D2-2-01, Achieving Quality Right Party Contact with a Borrower, has been established.

not delinquent

summarize its attempts to locate the borrower and its discussions with any other lienholders and submit a recommendation for further action to its Fannie Mae Servicing Representative (see F-4-03, List of Contacts).

The servicer must obtain a signed copy of the inspection report that first reported the vacancy, in which the person who completed the inspection certifies that he or she personally went to the property location and that the property is vacant.

An electronic signature is acceptable when obtaining a signed copy of the inspection report. See Selling Guide A2-5.1-03, Electronic Records, Signatures, and Transactions for additional information.

If a property is subsequently inspected and remains vacant, the continued vacancy status must be documented on the checklist or other document evidencing notes of the inspection, but no additional signature is required. If a property previously reported to be vacant becomes occupied, a new signed inspection report is required if the property becomes vacant.

Once the servicer has confirmed the property is abandoned, the servicer must complete an interior inspection every calendar month until the foreclosure sale date, or in applicable foreclosure actions where there is no foreclosure sale and title is transferred by court order, the date the court’s order is entered on the docket. Interior inspections may be conducted simultaneously with other required property inspections.

For more information please see: D2-2-10, Requirements for Performing Property Inspections

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If you have additional questions, Fannie Mae customers can visit Ask Poli to get information from other Fannie Mae published sources.

Guide Resources

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Visit Selling and Servicing Guide Communications and Forms

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