Along with their recently announced HomeReady mortgage program, Fannie Mae also provided a major policy change regarding housing counseling. Fannie Mae will only accept housing counseling provided by HUD-approved housing counseling agencies. This valuable development will mean that the “housing counseling” provided by interested parties in the transaction, most commonly mortgage insurers, will no longer be accepted for Fannie Mae products.

Many of us have pressed this issue with their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and with Fannie Mae. The perfunctory services provided by for-profit providers were typically delivered after the sales agreement and the mortgage application were signed by the consumer—which meant the major financial decisions had already been made.

Next up: Freddie Mac, what are you going to do?