C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


Fannie Mae and the HomePath Database (Don't Make Me Mini-Rant Again)

My e-mail is out of control and I had to turn my cell phone off today. Seems when you write an open letter to the President people think you are a repository for their complaints, suggestions and inquiries.

Since some of my readers were kind enough to take the time to write their questions down and e-mail me their concerns, I shall return the favor and answer them here instead of individually. Thank you for reading my blog. Sam: I am not arbitrary and capricious with my sarcasm and irony. I have no problem saying exactly what I mean, so consider yourself warned. Susan Mangigian's Wordy C is about to make an appearance, so go get comfy people. Ready? Read on. I may surprise some of you with how much I really do know...

1.This is the Fannie Mae site where you can find some of those listings I did a mini-rant about. Notice how it is not a Realtor site, but a Fannie Mae site where you may conduct your REO search and go shopping for a bail-out property: HomePath.com

2. Here is where you can access Fannie Mae Mortgage Tools: Monthly Payment Calculator.

3. Here is where you can access Fannie Mae Mortgage Tools: Affordability Calculator.

4. Foreclosure Prevention information may be found here.

5. Yes, I can do REOs and Short Sales. Call me in the office to set up a listing appointment at 718-483-7339 if it regards a Brooklyn or Queens property. If the property is not located in Kings or Queens County, please do not call me to represent your REOs and Short Sales. I have little minions that need my attention and I like to stay close to home and my kids. My family comes first. It is a personal preference that I have grown less flexible on. :-)

6. The HomePath Mortgage Financing lender official lists may be found here.


8. Here is the reason why I am gently ranting: "Vendor Application Process: We only add vendors for our NPDC when there is a need. If we already have an available vendor, we will not add additional vendors. However, if we have a property in an area where there is no vendor available, we will review applications for new vendors." WTF? Does the word MONOPOLY mean anything to you friggin' people? Seriously... Everyone should get a crack at it. EVERYONE! There are businesses in my industry closing their doors for lack of work and you want to give away Fannie Mae bail-out territories? If you have an available vendor you are not going to add additional vendors? Is that double-talk code speak for Realtors need not apply we're giving it to our friends? Who picks and how do they select the VENDORS? Hmm... seems to me if you give a firm work, you should move to the next firm on the list and keep 'em rotating so we all share in the opportunity (or as many professionals as possible)... I would rather see 10,000 firms land contracts to sell 100,000 homes than 1,000 firms selling 100,000 homes. That's just me...

9. BTW, if "they" don't pick your vendor application, then the Realtor has to re-apply in two years... Does this mean when a VENDOR gets an area they have that puppy on lock down for TWO YEARS? WTF!?! A little help here Fannie Mae... seriously! How come you don't define what an area is? Is it a five mile radius? A zip code? Why so weird and mysterious all of a sudden? Is there a cap for how many homes a firm can sell before you move on to the next firm to spread the opportunity for workers to work?

10. Realtors who don't have Microsoft Office better go buy Excel. The Fannie Mae tech people didn't do the application as a PDF file. Noooo buddy-buddy. That would make way too much sense and we can't be convenient and transparent while redistributing all of that wealth around. Geez... It appears that somebody thought it would be a real hoot to make you have to open the application in a Microsoft Office Excel 97-2003 workbook file. Go figure... I don't know why I keep updating my software when the government keeps making me backtrack older versions to deal with their technological lag. Not being user friendly on purpose is two thumbs down. To think I've been sporadically picking on HUD's periodic lack of common sense all of this time (LOL). Fannie Mae has inspired me to mini-rant on this issue. I'm into equal opportunity spankings people. They dropped the ball with that point. Seriously. ;-)

11. Realtors and Appraisers, if you are not an Owner/Officer you can not fill out the application. So before the appraisers, sales agents and associate brokers start doing the snoopy dance, I regret to inform you you've got to be the broker in charge or a corporate officer of the firm. A vendor equals the Firm or a Sole Proprietor. They want your EIN. Need I say more?

12. Appraisers, yes, there really is an application for you. It's the same one. Seriously (LOL). Go get that puppy and fill it out if you are interested. Just remember the Owner/Officer rule. If you are a company of one, then hurry up and get busy bay-bay! You have to e-mail the application in. E-mailing it is mandatory. :-)

13. Fannie Mae Q&A regarding them selling homes can be found here. My darling public, this is a very good page of information for you to wrap your brain around. The bail-out bad debt properties will be up for grabs and they let you make arrangements for bulk purchases. What does that mean? Hell if I know. Maybe you should just take me literally there. Since you need to learn all you can about that and other points you may want to Google HomePath and keep reading  because the rules will shift as we go along. After all, that's what the Gov does. Make sure you read the entire Q&A. It is a short but interesting list.

14. Fannie Mae is swamped, which may explain some of their hypothetical stupidity. I encourage you to help them. Here's what and who they need: * appraisers, * real estate brokers/listing agents, * repair contractors, * eviction attorneys, * maintenance companies, and * closing agents/title companies. Wishing you well on securing your tentative two year slots. I have provided you with the links, get your paperwork in and start moving that inventory.

In the meantime I am going to be making a stink and carrying on about that two year stint. The rotation should have been truncated to allow more firms to participate in the program and nip nepotism, cronyism and I'm a contributor to your Political PACS sooooo hook me up crap in the bud.

Question: How many VENDORS get to populate an area? Where's the freaking grid so we can see how many vendors own a territory of bail-out REO business?

Question: How do we find out the ratio of properties to each company? What if vendor A only gets one home while vendor B gets one thousand? This set up whomps! I want to know where the transparency is in all of this. Who rates the vendors and determines if they are doing a decent job or need to be replaced. Where is the standard check list on evaluating performance? Inquiring minds want to know...We all have bills to pay and want an opportunity to move some bail-out REO inventory and install those For Sale signs on location. BTW, they have special promotional signs and material we have to buy to do this. Making more money off of us, eh? My Realtor sign not good enough so I gotta go hang your sign too? It appears so if I want to participate...

Now you know why I said what I said. More professionals will be out in the cold than included. That totally whomps! I thought you guys wanted to create more jobs? Making me wait two years for the possibility of being selected for work after you've selected someone ahead of me doesn't seem too promising to me... There are better ways of spreading the work around and it makes me wonder who benefits the most from this arrangement. Obviously the scales are tipped in an unbalanced direction for a reason. I'm gonna have to yell now. I want to feel better... Maybe if I virtually yell someone of influence will hear me.







I know what I am thinking...  This limited vendor plan whomps. We should compete for that business in an open, transparent market. We all deserve a shot to earn a living.

Before I go, I want the public to know that they sell 'em as is, maybe making a repair here and there, but Fannie Mae will not repair the majority of the REOs, SO BUYERS BEWARE! Get yourself a good buyer's broker to represent your best interests in hunting for REO properties and processing your paperwork. Have lots of fun window shopping at the site and stop freaking out in my e-mail account. This is not the end of the world and real estate markets will do what ever they are going to do regardless how any of us personally feel about it.

I have to go finish writing my letter to the President now... Maybe I'll mini-rant again later. So many issues, so little time... :-)



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Comment balloon 30 commentsC Tann-Starr • January 29 2009 05:37AM


Great job...get a buyers agent is the best thing anyone can do when looking at REO and even FSBO. Great representation pays for itself.

Posted by Chip Jefferson (Gibbs Realty and Auction Company) almost 12 years ago

Get yourself a good buyer's broker to represent your best interests in hunting for REO properties and processing your paperwork.



Posted by Kris Wales, Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI (Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center) almost 12 years ago

Searching the Homepath database, I notice one property in Los Angeles, for example,  is being handled by a "Default Management" firm in AKRON , OHIO.  Talk about "Radius"!!!

So, yes, the selection of vendors is an interesting question.  I am broker of my office, I have an EIN number, and I even have Excel.  :-)  So, I think I otta send in the application.

Posted by Cheryl Johnson almost 12 years ago

Thank you, Laura. I believe the public needs help and I am so glad we've got AR to blog on because so many people were curious about why I wrote that first post. They found it looking for other things and had no idea about this website and the nonsense going on with the vendor representation and a host of other issues which really need to be addressed. Affordable housing as a key word blew up my e-mail answering machine with lots of questions. I still have several that need to be answered. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Kris, I second that. Amen, indeed... People really have no idea what they are getting into. They just know that they would like to buy a home...

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Cheryl Johnson, I do so love you. :-) Please send in an application as soon as possible. The program is huge and we need every firm we can get our hands on fighting to help fix the bugs and flaws in their plan. I hope your firm does get awarded a piece of the pie. You ROCK! There are a lot of great Realtors out there that could really be an asset in assisting Fannie Mae move those properties. The idea that they would be benched for two years is just inconceivable to me.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

C - when you get some time, let us know how you really feel. Buyers representation, it's what it is all about right now, especially in this REO market.

Posted by Mike Saunders (Lanier Partners) almost 12 years ago

2 years does seem to be a long time before you have a shot again.  I agree they could spread those listings around which would be good for all.

A buyer's agent is critical in these times because some of those houses are in terrible shape and you would hate to get stuck with something you cannot fix or live in.

Posted by Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh, A doctor who makes house calls. (Century 21 New Millennium) almost 12 years ago

LOL @ Big Mike. Would you believe I deleted a lot? Seriously! (LMAO)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Stacey-Ann, very true and very well said. REOs usually have time is of the essence clauses, so a buyer's agent will be instrumental to a purchaser to help keep the paperwork flowing and to follow-up to ensure the appointments scheduled (e.g. inspection, appraisal, contractors, etc) are kept and the proper reports are filed and delivered to where they need to go. Lots of details and deadlines involved...

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

There is a need for revamping the whole REO process.  Many properties are listed on local MLS sites that the agent has never seen and is miles from the location up here.  It is too frustrating.  Thanks for carrying the torch C.  We will follow you if you need us!

Posted by Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi, Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY (Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty) almost 12 years ago

We have one agent who handles all of the HUD home listings for hundreds of miles around this area. It is ridiculous and if you go to the HUD website there is no information on how to even find out about listing these homes or the qualifications necessary.

Posted by Walter Grewe III, Realtor, SFR, A-REO, Roanoke Homes and Real Estate (Long and Foster Realtors) almost 12 years ago

Walter, it needs to be fixed because it isn't working well for the majority of people trying to use it. How can someone effectively service a listing that may be serious mileage away from where their business operates and where they live? I check on my listings. I check on my clients. I worry about property damage and vandalism when a home sits vacant. I pick up the mail. I have the grass cut. I have personally shoveled the snow and chipped away ice so people wouldn't fall on the walkways or steps. I introduce myself to the neighbors and give them all my cards and let people know that I am working in the area. If I have ten listings hundreds of miles apart, how am I supposed to check on them all and care for them like I normally care for them? When am I going to discover there is a problem? Fannie Mae is not going to fix a lot of these properties. Does anyone care that a pipe may burst in the middle of Winter and the home may be destroyed because a home is simply listed and left to its own devices until someone says I'd like to see it?

I know of HUD homes where the heating oil ran out, the heat cut off and the pipes burst. Do you see where I am going with this little rant? What is Fannie Mae's version of a territory? What type of travel radius are we talking about here?

Last Summer I was given keys to a foreclosure that was supposed to be empty. I always ring the bell, knock on the door and announce myself before crossing the threshold. I brought a female client to view the home and guess what? 4 bedrooms had mattresses on the floor and each mattress had a naked man sleeping on it. That experience really, really whomped. They each apologized for being caught there, were polite, and pulled their sheets up. No one knows who they were and they did not leave either. We stopped opening doors after the fourth scare and left quickly.  I never showed that home again

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Paddy, I could write about REOs for the rest of the week (LOL). It would be nice if someone from Fannie Mae would make a useful PDF we could download that would lay out the liabilities as well as the responsibilities. What is the government's expectation of the vendors who are about to service all of this bad property debt? Is Fannie Mae going to cut on the heat and electricity in these houses or will we be walking around with flashlights freezing in the dark? Most people ask to see a property after work or on a week end. The after work crowd should make things very interesting. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Theoretically, out-of-range Realtors responsible for properties far away may incur significant/disproportionate costs to maintain a property assigned as part of their firms inventory in comparison to a hypothetical local group of  Realtors with a reasonable territory radius range and faster response time.

If a neighbor calls me about a problem (e,g, broken window) I can come take a look in a reasonable amount of time if it' 50 miles or less). If I have to drive 113 miles to take pictures of the damage, make an assessment and hire a contractor to repair it, 5 hours out of my day will most certainly have gone by to make this round trip inspection to schedule repairs. Like Cher said earlier, there is someone in Ohio responsible for a property in LA, California... How often do you think this can this happen?

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Preach on C, preach on. I will leave it at that.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) almost 12 years ago

Apparently they are working on the same system as HUD and VA - dump it all with one broker/agent, more than likely put up with no/limited advertising and rake the buyers over the coals before giving them just a drop of information, but not enough to know if they are making a wise choice or not.  Can you tell that I hate dealing with gov't owned properties?

Posted by Lisa Heindel, New Orleans Real Estate Broker (Crescent City Living LLC) almost 12 years ago

JL ;-)

Lisa, I understand how you feel. I'm frustrated. There's a listing that I can ride my bike to and guess who they gave it to? Some broker in GA. She's not licensed in NY so how the hell is she going to sell a home in Flushing, NY? From Georgia, over 800 miles away. Duh? A Federal agency staff member that can't read? Is that how we roll at Fannie Mae? Seriously...

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

I'm a Freddie Mac Home Steps agent, and it took forever to get approved. But they never call, so what good does it do? There is a monopoly.

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, it is time to break the monopoly. I have minions. We are very good at breaking things (LOL). This is going to be very interesting...  I'm cooking up a new project regarding this but can't spill the beans yet. My people are still in play (LMAO). ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

So, where do you go to get answers? You pose great questions. The answers are important.

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Marianne, I am working on those answers. It may take a while. I am pretending to be patient. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Carolyn, having formerly had to deal with foreclosure dispositions (another life), there are some reasons behind the "territory". In years past no one wanted to work this business. Agents that did in many areas were far between. Also, the brokerages that handled REO were scattered and they got the work. As the economy and the mortgage meltdown continued, well, we all know what happened to Fannie and Freddie. So as everything went by the wayside I would say that the updates to who is available to do it and the means to be accepted also went somewhat neglected. As our tax dollars are now a great portion of the industry perhaps we should rally our state representatives to help make the necessary changes.

Posted by Eric McGowan almost 12 years ago

Eric McG, I do hope they update the rules and regulations because giving listings to brokerage firms that are not licensed to operate in a state the home is located in seems counter productive to me. I am working hard to obtain my broker's license in the states that I am interested in and have purchased land preparing to set up shop there. If they are going to rep out of state properties, then they need to get their licenses (which is required by state law) and set up shop, or co-broker with other firms to handle their out of state work.

Placing a Flushing, NY property in a GA MLS where people looking in Flushing will never find it makes very little sense to me. The same for a CA house being featured in Ohio. Most people I know up here will not call long distance to find out about a home for sale around the corner. BTW, when are OH and GA agents going to errect For Sale signs on the CA and NY listings? What's the turn around on that? I put my signs up within 24 hours and the fliers hit the street within 48...

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

C, you are hysterical! Thanks for the wonderful blog with a ton of good info. I had not been to Fannie's site since they updated it. I will have to browse around a bit.

Posted by Tanya Venable, SEO, Mobile SEO, and Internet Marketing Consultant almost 12 years ago

There is some good stuff there, Tanya. They just need to get their act together. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Entirely justified rant. I have been doing REO for 3 years and work 40+ hrs per week. RE is my only job and I'm pretty dang good at it. The Fannie Mae vendor for my area is a full time school teacher who lives 50 miles away. These folks are Soooooooo frustrating. So far I've sold 4 houses for this guy but do you think that would help get a foot in the door? No Way. Fannie may not have been a true Federal entity until they went belly up and got nationalized but they sure did drink the kool-ade.

Posted by Chris Oliver (Century 21, Preferred Properties) almost 12 years ago

Chris, things are certainly getting interesting in that database. They have got to revamp those rules...

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

C, I am fairly new to AR so excuse any missteps - has there been any updates/changes to the way Fannie Mae distributes REO's?  Just the other day I signed up on the Fannie Mae website and no where could I find that 2 year rule - is this something that is insider info? If so both the 2 year rule and the lack of info on the site slurps! There is one agent in the Abq area that seems to have a monopoly on Fannie Mae REO's.  Here's to thinking that the government would handle anything fairly! The Fannie Mae site should inform you prior to you filling out the forms that it is a total waste of your time, that a Realtor has already been chosen in your area and you do not have a chance of getting any listings.

Thanks for putting the information out there for the rest of us unknowing Realtors.


Posted by Aaron Sandoval - Albuquerque Real Estate, Aaron Sandoval & the Sandoval Realty Team (Brickleys Property Solutions LLC) over 10 years ago

Aaron, I shall have to update this post for you and find out what they've been doing. My firm is in the vendor database and I'm in charge of the project. They haven't given me a single listing in New York but somehow people in West Virginia were told to contact me about WV properties (LOL). Oh well... I guess I need to go get a license over there so I can actually sell out of state properties. They being silly by listing my number on WV inventory may be a blessing because I'm kinda busy right now and have been referring work out to people who can actually do WV inventory (LMAO). I definitely need to update this... ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 10 years ago

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