Servicing Guide

Published July 10, 2019

E-1.1-01: General Requirements for Referring a Mortgage Loan to a Law Firm (08/15/2018)

The following table describes the servicer’s responsibilities for all referrals to law firms for default-related legal services.

The servicer must...

Send the referral to a law firm that has been selected and retained for the jurisdiction under the requirements set forth in A4-2.2-01, Selecting and Retaining Law Firms.

Submit a complete referral package to the law firm and work with the law firm to determine

  • the documents needed in that particular jurisdiction for the specific proceedings, and

  • whether the documents may be photocopies or must be the originals.

Advise the law firm to which the referral is made that Fannie Mae owns or securitizes the mortgage loan being referred.

Manage referrals to law firms to avoid any conflicts of interest on the part of the law firm with respect to Fannie Mae and the servicer.

Provide Fannie Mae’s Legal department (see F-4-03, List of Contacts) with written notice at least 5 business days prior to transferring any default-related matter that results in an aggregate of 30 or more transfers within a 6-month period from a single law firm to another law firm in the same state. The servicer must include an implementation plan and transfer details for all of the applicable default-related matter transfers during this 6-month period.

Note: If a foreclosure sale has already occurred, the servicer must obtain Fannie Mae’s prior approval before transferring any default-related matter to another law firm.

The law firm to which a foreclosure referral is made will handle any subsequent bankruptcy case, unless the bankruptcy case is filed in a different jurisdiction and the servicer has not selected and retained the law firm to perform legal services in the jurisdiction in which the bankruptcy case is filed. In those cases, the bankruptcy case must be handled by a law firm selected and retained by the servicer in the jurisdiction in which the bankruptcy case was filed. When the bankruptcy case is resolved, the matter must be referred back to the law firm that originally received the foreclosure referral if foreclosure is still necessary, unless the law firm’s retention has been terminated or a suspension of new referrals is in place. See Required Referral Timelines for Mortgage Loans Previously Referred for Foreclosure in E-1.2-01, Timing of the Bankruptcy Referral for additional information and requirements.

For mortgage loans referred for foreclosure prior to June 1, 2013 to law firms that were members of the Fannie Mae retained attorney network when the referrals were made, if a bankruptcy is filed after June 1, 2013 and the law firm has been selected and retained by the servicer, the bankruptcy referral must go to the law firm, unless that law firm’s retention has been terminated or a suspension of new referrals is in place.

Fannie Mae may deny reimbursement of fees and out-of-pocket expenses for any referrals to law firms that have not been selected and retained under these requirements. See A1-4.2-02, Compensatory Fees for Delays in the Liquidation Process for additional information.

Related Announcements

The following table provides references to Announcements that are related to this topic.

Announcements Issue Date
Announcement SVC-2018-05 August 15, 2018