Servicing Guide

Published June 10, 2020

The Servicing Guide is organized into parts that reflect how lenders generally categorize various aspects of their business relationship with Fannie Mae. To begin browsing, select from any of the sections below. You may also download the entire Servicing Guide in PDF format.

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Is prior approval required to obtain reimbursement for excess foreclosure title update costs and excess foreclosure sale publication costs?

Fannie Mae prior approval is required in order for Fannie Mae to reimburse the servicer for excess foreclosure title update costs and excess foreclosure sale publication costs, as further outlined in Publication Costs and Foreclosure Title Costs below. The law firm retained by the servicer must obtain the appropriate approval from Fannie Mae when required for these excess costs and provide supporting documentation and explanation to warrant the request. Lack of sufficient supporting documentation and explanation could result in an automatic denial.

Unexpected events which may require additional title updates or additional publication costs beyond what is included in a routine foreclosure action include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • a scheduled foreclosure sale is continued or rescheduled;

  • complete restart of the foreclosure action if the prior foreclosure sale was already scheduled; and

  • non-standard reasons, such as probate, non-routine litigation, or other legal actions.

Fannie Mae has a process in place for law firms to request appropriate approval for excess title and publication costs. The servicer must comply with the instructions shown in the following table to obtain reimbursement for these additional costs.

The servicer must...
  Require the law firm to have a process in place to request approval for reimbursable excess title and publication costs from Fannie Mae's Single Family Servicing (see F-4-03, List of Contacts).
  Verify the reason for the additional costs are necessary due to an unexpected event.

Fannie Mae will generally reimburse the servicer for excess title and publication costs if they are necessary due to unexpected events, unless they are due to

  • a breach or alleged breach of selling warranties or representations or origination or selling activities,

  • the lender’s failure or alleged failure to satisfy its duties and responsibilities as a servicer,

  • actual or alleged error or lack of diligence on the part of a law firm retained by the servicer, or

  • a servicer initiated file transfer to a new law firm.

The servicer must reimburse the law firm in a timely manner for the additional legal costs associated with the services provided in the above instances unless the excess title or publication costs are due to actual or alleged error or lack of diligence from the law firm retained by the servicer.

The servicer may access additional resources on managing default-related legal services, including title and foreclosure publication costs and the process for the law firm to request Fannie Mae approval for certain excess legal expenses, on Fannie Mae’s website.

For more information please see: E-5-07, Other Reimbursable Default-Related Legal Expenses

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