updated 9/27/2010 10:45:49 AM ET 2010-09-27T14:45:49

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae plans to give military families a break on their home loan payments if they are struggling because of the death or injury of a service member.

The Washington-based company says it will reduce or suspend borrowers' monthly payments up to six months. Fannie Mae is the largest buyer and backer of U.S. home mortgages, owning or guaranteeing about $3.2 trillion in home loans.

Fannie Mae also says it would suspend reporting to credit bureaus for up to six months to minimize the impact on the borrower's credit score.

To determine whether they are eligible, military members or their surviving spouses should contact their mortgage company. Or, they can call a special military phone number: 1-877-MIL-4566.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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