Surfside Condominium Tragedy Results in Stricter Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Requirements

On June 24, 2021, the Champlain Towers, a 12-story beachfront condominium in Surfside, Florida, partially collapsed. This tragic incident has resulted in 98 deaths, four people trapped and rescued from the rubble, and dozens of people without homes.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the possible causes of the collapse were design failure, low-grade construction, and a lack of a property condition assessment NJ and routine maintenance. Furthermore, the Miami Herald’s consultation with engineers and a general contractor pointed out design flaws and structural weaknesses. The condominium building also failed to follow building codes set by the American Concrete Institute at the time it was built.

This tragedy is just among the numerous building catastrophes that happened due to noncompliance with building codes and disregard for an adequate property assessment by a professional structural engineer NJ. The collapse of the condominium affected not only the lives of its occupants but also the companies managing, insuring, financing, and regulating condominiums.

The catastrophic event made industries and stakeholders more cautious in investing in aging infrastructure and properties. Moreover, it has resulted in mortgage giants and small lending companies being wary of loans tied to assets due to safety issues.

Due to these instances, two government-sponsored entities, the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA – Fannie Mae) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC – Freddie Mac) took action to bring back people’s confidence in the system. These two organizations play an essential role in the affordability and availability of mortgages

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued new requirements to elevate the standard for mortgages relating to condominiums and cooperatives. These new standards aimed to prevent property disasters and safeguard the finance industry from suffering the aftermath.

More detailed information about the new rules set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can be found in this infographic by Lockatong Engineering.

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