New mortgage standards for major lenders are due to take effect starting January 2012, Marketwatch reports.The new rules have been in effect for months, but only on a voluntary basis. Starting in 2012, these regulations will be mandatory.The new standards are known as the servicer alignment initiative and will be applicable to all mortgages backed by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration, reports the news source.Under the new rules and regulations, servicers will be required to provide guidance on foreclosure alternatives for borrowers who are 30 days delinquent. The alternative measures include loan reinstatement, eliminating delinquency through repayment programs, government modification programs or a private short-sale process.”In that 30-day time period the borrower is going to be evaluated for the best alternative,” Freddie Mac servicing director Robert Kimble told the source.According to RealtyTrac, Houston has been hit hard with foreclosures and short-sales in past years. This new program will ensure owners of Houston homes are well informed on the foreclosure process and given a chance to look for alternatives. Courtesy of 2M Realty News? ?