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What a Holiday Foreclosure Halt Means for Investors

New announcements of foreclosure halts for the holidays are emerging. What does it mean for real estate investing?

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced another foreclosure ‘freeze’ for the holidays. If you think this is going to be bad for your real estate investing business, you should have seen it coming. It isn’t necessarily that they care but that throwing families in the street at Christmas is terrible PR and that’s if they could get the sheriff to do it anyway.

However, note that the new announcement only applies to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans and will run from December 17th through January 2nd, 2013. This is also not a true foreclosure ‘halt’. The entities will only be pausing physical evictions during this period but will continue to push properties through the foreclosure process.

So how will this impact real estate investing?

For a start it could deflate the motivation of some homeowners to act or commit to selling for the next few weeks, despite the folly in delaying a solution to their situation. This could also lead to a twisted data set showing slowing foreclosures in December and early January and a spike as we move into February, so keep this in mind over the next few months.

Ultimately investors should anticipate a flurry of real estate investing opportunities after the New Year breaks through the upcoming tax refund season. Expect January to be busy with panicking homeowners and families needing somewhere to live, as well as a new round of foreclosure starts as more fall under the burden of trying to keep up after splurging during the holiday season.

So set up the system and capacity to help these homeowners and displaced families now so that you can handle higher volume in coming months.

Finally, perhaps you should consider the same type of eviction freeze on your own properties during the next few weeks.

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