Fannie Mae is moving closer to picking an advisor that will guide the GSE as it moves to unload billions of dollars in nonperforming loans over the next few years, according to industry officials familiar with the effort.

A “request for proposal” or similar document was issued to potential vendors late in the spring and anyone receiving it was asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement about its contents.

Roughly five vendors are under consideration presently, said one consultant who has done work with Fannie. He spoke under the condition his name not be published because of the sensitivity of the matter. “Confidentially, the selection process is underway and no more vendors are under consideration. I can’t say anything more than that.”

A Fannie spokesman declined to comment for this story.

Last year Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought billions of dollars in nonperforming mortgages out of their own MBS pools. Those loans now reside in-house at the GSEs and eventually will need to be resolved. It’s expected that in time both Fannie and Freddie will move to unload its NPL holdings.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, which controls the Ginnie Mae program, is already actively selling NPLs.

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