As has been widely reported lately, Fannie Mae, which is under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has developed a secret blacklist of condominiums, HOAs and co-ops that are ineligible for “conventional financing”, i.e. loans that can be sold on the secondary market. It will be difficult for owners in these blacklisted condominiums to either sell or refinance their units.
Last month, Allcock & Marcus sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to FHFA to obtain a copy of the list. On May 23, 2023, FHFA effectively responded that its blacklist does not exist. (To access a copy of FHFA’s FOIA response, click here.) We do not understand why the government is keeping this information secret. Our firm knows that the condo blacklist does indeed exist, having obtained a copy of it from another source. The list identifies about 1,700 condominiums or HOAs by name, state, date of ineligibility, and the reason for ineligibility. We intend to file a FOIA appeal within the 90-day appeal period.
If you are living in, on the board of, or manage a condominium, or are interested in buying one, you should know if your community is on the list, and if there is action you may be able to take to get off the list. To that end, our firm has set up a form on its website to allow you to determine whether any particular condominium in all 50 states is on the blacklist. Click here to learn whether your community is included. Our list is dated as of May 5, 2023; we will endeavor to get updates to the list and/or full public disclosure by the government.
We think making the list public benefits the communities, lenders, Fannie Mae and FHFA itself. If a community knows it is on the list, it would be more likely to take remedial action necessary to be delisted, which benefits all concerned. Disclosure would also be in the interest of consumer protection, and the economy at large. Besides, what if a community has already remedied the issues flagged by Fannie Mae and had been wrongly “blacklisted”?
If you have any questions about the Fannie Mae blacklist or the Allcock & Marcus FHFA FOIA appeal and efforts to obtain the list, contact Ed Allcock at Ed@AMcondolaw.com or Stephen Marcus at Stephen@AMcondolaw.com.