What is Fannie Mae?
The entity that holds great power in the conventional mortgage market is Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae is America's largest mortgage buyer, a private corporation, which buys mortgage loans in the secondary mortgage market. Because Fannie Mae would end up with the properties back if borrowers default, Fannie Mae has a strong interest in setting forth stringent guidelines to lessen the chance a borrower will go into foreclosure.
Fannie Mae revised its guidelines and now addresses separate waiting periods depending on the type of foreclosure.
Moreover, if you have documented extenuating circumstances, this will have a direct bearing on the number of years you will have to wait to get a conventional loan.
What is Documented Extenuating Circumstances?
Fannie Mae allows for extenuating circumstances such as:
- Death (not yours, of course)
- Job Transfer
- Accident Resulting in Severe Injury
With documented extenuating circumstances, the waiting period is less than without. I'm sorry to say that being unable to afford an increase in payment due to an interest rate increase on your adjustable-rate mortgage is not considered a circumstance beyond your control.
Waiting Period to Buy After Foreclosure
- Buying After a Foreclosure
The waiting period is 5 years up to 7 years.
- Buying After a Foreclosure With Extenuating Circumstances
The waiting period is 3 years up to 7 years.
- Buying After After a Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure
The waiting period is 4 years up to 7 years.
- Buying After a Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure With Extenuating Circumstances
The waiting period is 2 years up to 7 years.
- Buying After a Short Sale
The waiting period is 2 years. However, if a seller does not have a 60-day late pay, Fannie Mae says that seller may immediately buy another home but none of the major lenders will fund such a loan, so it's kind of a fallacy. FHA has similar guidelines but, again, major lenders are not stepping up to the plate. I have heard of isolated instances in which a seller relocated for a job transfer and moved more than a certain distance to qualify to immediately buy a home after a short sale.
However, to answer your particular question, if you have no extenuating circumstances, you will need to wait four years from the date of completion, meaning the date your deed-in-lieu of foreclosure was recorded.
In addition to the waiting period, some loans require 10% down and a minimum FICO score. The home you purchase must be your principal place of residence, not a rental nor a vacation home.
Fannie Mae constantly issues new guidelines. The above policies are in effect for loan applications submitted after August 1, 2008.
At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.