Freddie Mac CEO Charles "Ed" Haldeman gave a strong signal Friday that new incentives from the Treasury Department may be enough to start principal reduction on mortgages backed by the government-sponsored enterprises.
In January, the Treasury said it would triple
incentive payments to mortgage investors who allow principal reduction
in Home Affordable Modification Program workouts. The payouts ranged
between six and 21 cents to the investors for each dollar forgiven under
HAMP, but that will grow to between 18 and 63 cents.
"I have to say recently the Treasury sweetened the program and
tremendously increased the incentive payments in their offer to us,"
Haldeman said at HousingWire's REThink Symposium. "We will reevaluate
that to see what may be in our economic best interest. If there are very
large incentive payments — which could be 50% of what you could write
down — it may be in our economic self-interest to participate in that."