Freddie Mac is one-upping Fannie Mae by offering to retain some home loans that have defects but without requiring that mortgage lenders pay a fee.

Both Freddie and Fannie are expected to provide more guidance to mortgage lenders in 2016 about their so-called repurchase alternatives, which give lenders options for resolving loans that are sold to Fannie and Freddie but are at risk of being returned to lenders because they don't meet the government-sponsored enterprises' guidelines.

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