Posted by: Catherine | May 15, 2009

Short Sale Federal Guidelines and Homeowner mortgage help resources

Are you in Contra Costa and thinking of a short sale?  Have you heard there are some new guidelines regarding short sales, foreclosure avoidance and a deed in lieu? We’re cautiously optimistic that the new Obama guidelines will help to streamline the short sale process.  Have you seen the latest?  Some of this will be a wait and see how the lenders and servicers deal with this, as we already know, nothing happens quickly in this arena, but we have been begging for help for homeowners who wish to avoid foreclosure – let’s see how this works in practical terms.

Uniform Process for Short Sales Will Help Struggling Homeowners > Press Release

WASHINGTON, May 14, 2009

Help is on the way for many homeowners who are facing foreclosure, thanks to new details under the Making Home Affordable Program announced today by the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Making Home Affordable Program is designed to help homeowners obtain modifications to their loan so they can afford to stay in their home. Where a modification is not possible, new incentives encourage the “quick private sale or voluntary transfer of property, which will save homeowners money and protect their financial future,” according to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The National Association of Realtors® expects that a uniform process for handling short sales and financial incentives will facilitate this process. View a summary of the incentives and process (PDF)

“NAR is pleased that the government is stepping in to help prevent foreclosures by streamlining the short-sale and deeds-in-lieu process,” said NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth. “NAR has been calling for uniform short sales procedures and other initiatives that will help today’s homeowners in challenging economy.”

Short sales occur when a bank agrees to let homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage to sell their home for less than they owe on their mortgage. Visit for detailed information on the program changes.

“Many families are finding themselves with a mortgage that is higher than their current home value, and they are struggling,” said McMillan. “As Secretary Geithner noted, and as NAR has been advocating for many months, stemming the foreclosure crisis and stabilizing the housing market are critical to our economic recovery.”

“We have heard from Realtors® that the extensive delay in the short sale process had caused many buyers to go elsewhere and have left many would-be sellers with no option but foreclosure. We are all pleased that the government has stepped in to help homeowners and those wishing to buy a home,” McMillan said.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.


Obama Administration Announces

Financial Incentives and Uniform Process for Short Sales
Responding to the call of the National Association of REALTORS®, the Obama Administration has announced incentives and uniform procedures for short sales under its new Foreclosure Alternatives Program (FAP). For borrowers who do not qualify to have their loans modified on a permanent basis under the Making Home Affordable Program, the servicer may consider a short sale or, if that is not successful, a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL).
  • Borrowers (Homeowners). Borrowers qualify under the FAP if they meet minimum eligibility requirements for the Home Affordable Modification program but don’t qualify for a modification or do not successfully complete the three month trial period. Before proceeding with a foreclosure, servicers must determine if a short sale is appropriate.
  • Incentives. Incentives include: (1) $1,000 for servicers for successful completion of a short sale or DIL; (2) $1,500 for borrowers to help with relocation expenses; and (3) up to $1,000 toward the cost of paying junior lien holders to release their liens (one dollar from the government for every $2 paid by the investors to the second lien holders).
  • Standardized Documents. The program will include streamlined and standardized documents, including a Short Sale Agreement and an Offer Acceptance Letter. The goal is to minimize complexity and increase use of the short sale option.
  • Property Valuation by Appraisal or BPO. Servicers will independently establish both property value and minimum acceptable net return, in accordance with investor requirements. The price may be determined based on an appraisal or one or more broker price opinions (BPOs), issued no more than 120 days before the date of the short sale agreement.
  • Timeline. Servicers must give borrows at least 90 days to market and sell the property, or up to one year, depending on market conditions. Property must be listed with a licensed real estate professional with experience in the neighborhood. No foreclosure may take place during the marketing period (at least 90 days) specified in the Short Sale Agreement.
  • Commissions. The Short Sale Agreement must specify the reasonable and customary real estate commissions and costs that may be deducted from the sales price. The servicer must agree not to negotiate a lower commission after an offer has been received.
  • No Borrower Fees. Servicers may not charge fees to borrowers for participating in the FAP.
  • Program Expiration. The program is in effect through 2012.
  • DIL Option. Servicers have the option to require the borrower to agree to deed the property to the servicer in exchange for a release from the debt if the property does not sell within the time allowed in the Short Sale Agreement (plus any extensions).


Also, have you checked to see if you are eligible for mortgage help?

Need urgent help?
Contact the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline:
(888) 995-HOPE

To read more about Obama’s plan for our economy and housing:


Do you want to try to avoid foreclosure? Try to save your home? Do a short sale in Contra Costa?
If you need a free consultation regarding your mortgage and foreclosure avoidance options, call the local loss mitigation team of Contra Costa Short Sales and  Contra Costa Real Estate .  Catherine Myers at Alain Pinel Realtors can be reached by phone at  925-683-2125 or by email.    We will help you explore all options available to help you save your home FIRST! Then, if you’ve exhausted home save efforts, we’ll helpl you look into home sale and foreclosure avoidance options.  A short sale should be your last resort if you want to save your home.   Experienced counsel in selling and buying short sales and foreclosures.  Referrals to experienced attorney and CPA’s available. Call for your consultation today.

Located in Walnut Creek, CA – Contra Costa
Also serving:
Walnut Creek
Pleasant Hill
Pleasanton (Alameda County)
Dublin (Alameda County)
San Ramon
Livermore (Alameda County)
Bay Point
Discovery Bay

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