Steve Linick, head of the FHFA's OIG office, says the article overstates the case.
If you conveniently left off the fact that you have an outstanding mortgage you failed to pay, or that you have a deficiency judgment against you for the difference between what you owe and what the house sold for at foreclosure, you've committed mortgage fraud.
In a September 25 op-ed in DS News
(an online trade publication on default servicing) titled "Placing Our Mission in Perspective," Linick
writes it is "not the case" that his
office "is going to 'lock up' anyone who strategically defaults on their mortgage.
"My office is not 'on the prowl for people who owe [Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac] money.' We are, however, committed to combating mortgage fraud and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of FHFA's
programs and operations."
To that end, he
office is auditing FHFA's oversight of how Fannie and Freddie
recovers losses from foreclosure sales, and looking at how the companies handle strategic defaulters is part of that.
What will come out of that effort will be recommendations for improving oversight of the two companies and how they recover funds.
"This constitutes the extent of our current work on strategic defaulters," he
Hopefully this piece will help reinforce Mr. Linick's
op-ed and provide more clarity on the issue.
An excellent article from the New York Times
titled How a Financial Pro Lost His
House is worth a read, he
walks us through his
decision to strategically default and the consequences from that.