Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and several large mortgage lenders are pledging not to foreclose on delinquent borrowers during the holiday season.
For homeowners with loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the moratorium will run from Dec. 19 to Jan. 2. During this time, legal and administrative proceedings for evictions may continue, but families will be allowed to stay in their home.
Wells Fargo will also suspend evictions during that period, but will not shut down its eviction machinery entirely. The bank said it will observe the moratorium on foreclosed properties in its own portfolio but for loans it services for others.
Bank of America said that it would "avoid foreclosure sales or displacement of homeowners or tenants around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays."
However, that policy only applies to loans the bank itself owns. Like Wells Fargo, it will also honor the wishes of the owners of the loans it services, which could mean moving forward with certain foreclosures.
A holiday halt on foreclosures by the major mortgage lenders could affect tens of thousands of homeowners. An average of 89,000 foreclosure auctions a month have been scheduled this year, according to RealtyTrac.