Mortgage giant Fannie Mae has opened a large new facility in Culver City to provide free, comprehensive help to Southland homeowners who are struggling to make their housing payments or are even facing foreclosure.
The office, at 6041 Bristol Parkway in Fox Hills, is one of only six so-called “mortgage help centers” that the quasi-government company operates across the nation.
The center is run with the help of local nonprofit housing organizations and mortgage-related companies. A key objective is to provide detailed, long-term advice to financially troubled borrowers that they simply can’t get from a brief workshop or weekend seminar.
"The goal is to help people understand their financial situation and find an answer," said Jeffery Hayward, a Fannie Mae senior vice president.
Fannie Mae does not make loans directly to borrowers. Instead, it buys mortgages that are made by private lenders, pools the loans, and then sells shares in the pools to investors.
This process provides banks with the cash they need to make loans to future buyers and refinancers. Currently, Fannie Mae owns more than 40 percent of all home mortgages in the United States.
Representatives at the loan centers will review a borrower’s current financial situation, explain options to avoid foreclosure, and even help to file any needed initial and follow-up paperwork.
Hayward, the Fannie Mae executive, emphasized that the center’s services are absolutely free.
“No fees will be charged upfront or later in the process,” Hayward said. The help centers “are intended to counteract local scams and groups that charge fees for modification and foreclosure-prevention services,” many of which have been indicted for simply taking a financially strapped borrower’s precious remaining cash and then do little or nothing to solve the owner’s mortgage problems.