Freddie Mac, the large federally controlled mortgage guarantor, announced it would allow unemployed borrowers to delay mortgage payments for up to 12 months under a new plan.

Mortgage servicers with Freddie-owned or guaranteed loans will be allowed to give six months of forbearance without approval, and an additional six monts with Freddie Mac approval. Previously, servicers were allowed to give three months of delays without approval or six months with reduced payments.

These expanded forbearance periods will provide families facing prolonged periods of unemployment with a greater measure of security by giving them more time to find new employment and resolve their delinquencies, Tracy Mooney, senior vice president of single-family servicing and RECO at Freddie Mac, said Friday in a statement. We believe this will put more families back on track to successful long-term homeownership.

According to the agency's statistics, almost 10 percent of mortgage delinquences were tied to borrower unemployment. The new options will take effect Feb. 1.

Separately, Freddie Mac said it would launch a free online database for investors and analysts to monitor its multifamily mortgage-backed securities known as K-Deals. The database will include over 1,300 loans and $22 billion in securities and will be launched on Jan. 17.

Investors want transparency and easy access to investment information. This new tool should enable anyone to easily track and analyze data for all our K-Deals, said David Brickman, senior vice president of Freddie Mac Multifamily, in a statement.