NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Several of the big mortgage players are playing Santa Claus again this year, saying they will not evict borrowers in default during the two weeks surrounding Christmas.
Evictions mark the end of the foreclosure process. After the home is sold at foreclosure auction -- or banks take possession of the home -- owners must leave the property or face eviction notices.
"If the property is occupied, our foreclosure attorneys will suspend the eviction to provide a greater measure of certainty to families during the holidays," said Anthony Renzi, executive vice president of single family portfolio management at Freddie Mac.
For some of the big private banks, who also usually observe a freeze during the holidays, the situation is a little different this year, thanks to moratoriums they already have in place because of the robo-signing scandal.
That freeze was initiated to give the banks time to examine whether they violated any legal procedures in processing foreclosures and to correct and refile questionable documents they uncover.
"Bank of America's practice in recent years [is to hold off on] foreclosure sales or evictions from late December through New Year's Day on loans held in our investment portfolio or that are owned by investors who give the bank delegated authority," he said.
It will continue the foreclosure process for loans it services that are held by investors who decline to participate in the freeze and for properties that are known to be vacant.
A spokesman for Chase Mortgage, a division of J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500), said its robo-signing-connected moratorium makes an additional holiday freeze moot; it will still be several weeks before it starts to evict borrowers again.
Wells Fargo's (WFC, Fortune 500) holiday freeze will run the same two week period as Fannie's and Freddie's and will, like Bank of America's, include all loans it holds in its portfolio. For the other loans it services, it will follow guidelines from investors and from the states where the properties are located.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.43%||3.40%|
|15 yr fixed||2.70%||2.67%|
|30 yr refi||3.45%||3.43%|
|15 yr refi||2.71%||2.71%|
Today's featured rates:
Southwest pilots have been negotiating pay raises and improved contract terms with the airline for more than four years. Now, there's a sign the gridlock is ending. The union said Monday they've reached an 'agreement in principle.' More
Nearly 10,000 current and former Chipotle workers have joined a class action lawsuit alleging the company forced them to work 'off the clock' without pay. More
Chicago will begin tracking air quality, weather and road data to better inform government decisions. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
Following an order from the Department of Education to stop admitting students on federal financial aid, the for-profit technical school has stopped enrolling new students. More