Military homeowners with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages will find it easier to sell their underwater homes in a short sale when they are ordered to move as part of their duty, under a new Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) policy change.

Military homeowners who have received Permanent Change of Station orders and must move quickly would be eligible for a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure allowing them to avoid foreclosure.

“It is in everyone’s interest for the men and women serving in our armed forces to focus on the important job they are doing defending our country, rather than worry about the maintenance and leasing of a property in another jurisdiction,” said FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco, in a release. “These Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac policy changes, in combination with related guidance last fall, should now provide military homeowners with access to the immediate and automatic full range of foreclosure alternatives.”

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