Fannie Mae has announced that lenders selling the company mortgages are not required to run a second credit report before a borrower closes a home loan application.
The mortgage giant earlier this year suggested lenders could use a second credit report to verify that a borrower did not make any large purchases in the period between applying for a loan and closing the purchase. Some in the mortgage industry interpreted that suggestion as a requirement, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Fannie Mae now says such a credit report is not mandatory. But the company says lenders must make sure they have a process to discover whether borrowers take on large debts -- such as a car loan -- before the mortgage is made final. They also must have a way for borrowers to disclose any major change in their finances.
"Every mortgage loan delivered to Fannie Mae has to be underwritten to establish that the borrower is able to repay the debt," said Deborah Slade-Horsey, Fannie Mae's vice president for single-family risk policy.
Fannie Mae and sibling company Freddie Mac own or guarantee about half of all U.S. mortgages, or nearly 31 million home loans worth more than $5 trillion. They buy home loans from lenders, package them into bonds with a guarantee against default and sell them to investors.
The two companies have needed nearly $150 billion in government aid since they nearly went under in September 2008.