Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are adopting new guidelines to streamline the process for short sales, which most real estate observers expect will outpace foreclosures in the coming year.
The guidelines, required by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and effective June 15, would require servicers of mortgages backed by Freddie and Fannie to review and respond to requests for short sales within 30 calendar days of receipt of a buyer’s offer.
A short sale is a transaction in which a lender agrees to accept less than the amount owed on the mortgage. It is a “strategic default,” designed to get a borrower out of financial trouble without having to go through the drawn-out legal tangle of the foreclosure process.
A short sale does affect the seller’s credit score, reducing it as much as a foreclosure would, according to Fair Isaac Corp., which developed the system.
On average, according to recent data from foreclosure search engine RealtyTrac, short sales are taking 306 days from start to finish, compared with 113 days in 2006 as the housing market started to unravel.
Area real estate agents who handle such transactions have acknowledged that they do take a long time to complete, and that delays often result in loss of the sale.
But lenders are becoming more accommodating, though they have issues with short sales because they have been abused by unscrupulous investors and others, perhaps to the tune of $375 million in annual losses nationwide.
In January, there were more than 35,000 short sales nationwide, on pace for more than 105,000 pre-foreclosure sales for the first quarter. That would be the highest quarterly total since the first three months of 2009.
This is not the first time the government has acted to accelerate the short-sale process. In late 2009, the Treasury Department proposed financial incentives and simplified the procedures for completing them. That included a $1,000 payment to servicers and a maximum of $1,000 to go to investors who signed off on payments to subordinate lien holders, the Treasury said. Borrowers were to receive $1,500 in relocation expenses.
The rules, which took effect in April 2010, were supposed to reduce the short-sale process to 10 days, but didn’t.
The pending Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac guidelines will mandate weekly status updates to the borrower if the short sale remains under review after 30 calendar days.
Servicers also will be required to make and then inform borrowers of final decisions within 60 calendar days of receipt of an offer.
By the end of the year, Fannie and Freddie will announce other “enhancements” to the short-sale process, including borrower-eligibility evaluation, simplified documents, and payments to subordinate lien holders.
Housing Finance Agency acting director Edward J. DeMarco said the changes were being considered “additional tools to prevent foreclosure, keep homes occupied, and help maintain stable communities.”
Congratulations to my happy happy client! Finished a successful short sale for her. Taking the debt off her shoulders and giving her 5,000 relocation assistance! What a pleasure is was to have helped her. She truly is an amazing person I know she will conquer her dreams! Congratulations Monica! #relocation #bankofamerica #happyclient #helped #5,000
Call Us to find out if you qualify for $5,000 – $30,000 in relocation assistance
Christy & Melissa
Once we help our clients get into the home of their dreams Mom and I throw a fab party for them. This allows them to meet and mingle with their neighbors. It’s a great way to welcome them into the neighborhood and show off their new home. This particular party was great because our clients Raymond and Nora moved into a very friendly community. We enjoyed working with Ray and Nora and look forward to a long lasting friendship for years and years to come.
P.S Neighbor Steve – We better be invited to the Christmas party 🙂
Christy and Melissa
HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE! MAY YOU ALL HAVE A WONDERFUL AND SAFE WEEKEND. SMILE LIFE IS TOO SHORT. LOVE YOU ALL
CHRISTY & MELISSA
CALABASAS, Calif. – Adding to its foreclosure prevention initiatives, Bank of America has launched a nationwide program that offers delinquent mortgage customers increased assistance with relocation expenses – between $2,500 and $30,000 – at the completion of a qualifying short sale.
“Bank of America is committed to providing alternatives to foreclosure whenever possible,” said Bob Hora, home transition services executive for Bank of America. “This program can help customers make a planned transition from ownership when home retention options have been exhausted or they have made a decision not to keep the home.”
The short sale relocation assistance program builds on the bank’s already robust short sale initiatives, which led to 200,000 completed short sales in the last two years and another 30,000 in the first quarter of 2012. This program is based on a similar incentive offer that Bank of America tested in Florida last year.
To qualify for the enhanced relocation assistance payments under the new program, the seller must work proactively with the bank to obtain a preapproved sales price prior to submitting a purchase offer to the bank. A short sale must be initiated by the end of this year and close by September 26, 2013, to be eligible for the payment. Qualifying short sales that have already been started but have not closed may be eligible for the relocation assistance.
The amount of assistance provided under the new program will be determined on a case-by-case basis using a calculation that includes the value of the home, amount owed and other considerations.
Initially, the program will be offered on mortgages that are owned and serviced by Bank of America.
While available nationally, Bank of America anticipates greatest response to the program will come from borrowers in California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida and other states hardest hit by the economic downturn and falling property values.
Call Melissa and Christy to see if you qualify !
RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Wells Fargo Dealer Services, 10750 4th St. will hold a LifeStream community blood drive on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Donors receive (for their first donation since June 4) an “Everyone’s A Kid” discount coupon ($10 off adult admission) to Knott’s Soak City.
All prospective donors should be free of infections or illness, weigh at least 110 pounds, and not be at risk for AIDS or hepatitis.
The source of a foul odor wafting through the Inland area has yet to be found, but officials are sniffing it out. Andrew Schlange, interim general manager of the Salton Sea Authority, said it could be biological in nature. Meanwhile, reports from further locations keep coming in.
A mail carrier in San Bernardino said it smelled like rotten eggs. A woman in Rancho Cucamonga blamed it on dairy cows in Chino. A man in Rialto said he couldn’t smell it at all. And about 60 miles west in Los Angeles, curious callers in the north end of the San Fernando Valley were calling the Fire Department seeking answers.
They were among thousands across the Southland on Monday to catch a whiff of what officials said was the result of biological decay, possibly from the Salton Sea, and an unusual wind that pushed it west.
Fontana resident Walter Martinez, 33, may have best described the foul odor wafting through the Inland area.
“It’s kind of funky,” he said. “If I go outside and take a breath, I cough. I feel an air irritation.”
Air quality officials from around the region fielded phone calls throughout the day from residents concerned about the smell.
Field inspectors with the South Coast Air Quality Management District in Diamond Bar spent the day investigating the possible causes of what they described as “widespread sulfur odors.”
“Fish kills, algae blooms and other biologic conditions in lakes can cause strong odors,” said spokesman Sam Atwood, in a news release. “Industrial facilities such as wastewater plants also can cause sulfur odors. At this time AQMD hasn’t confirmed any source as the cause of the widespread odor.”
Those who smelled it had their own theories.
“It’s awful,” said Roberta Marroquin, a 52-year-old Rancho Cucamonga resident. “You know what, I think it’s the cows from Chino.”
Some experts said the Salton Sea – about 100 miles southeast of San Bernardino – may be to blame.
“It’s an unusual wind pattern that sent the Salton Sea smell pattern north,” said Jack Crayon, an environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Game in Bermuda Dunes.
Crayon said the odor occurs when there’s an “upwelling” of the waters in the shallow sea, bringing with it the smell of bacteria that has broken down without oxygen.
“It’s anaerobic,” he said. “Bacteria produce gasses as things break down. They stay in the lower level of the lake and build up over time. As those lower layers come up, they are releasing gasses from decompositions that have been gathering from weeks at a time. That’s what the smell is.”
Andrew Schlange, interim general manager of the Salton Sea Authority, said the shallow body of water, which reaches 60 feet at its deepest, experienced a recent fish die-off and the high winds may have turned over material in the bottom of the sea.
“If this odor is coming from the Salton Sea – and I stress if – that would probably be what happened at the sea from the winds last night,” Schlange said.
Marroquin wasn’t thrilled with the explanation.
“That’s awful, because then you’re breathing it,” she said.
Residents in San Bernardino apparently bombarded the Police Department early in the day with phone calls about the odor.
“It was like every other phone call was about the smell,” said Michael Fox, dispatch supervisor. “Gas leaks is what we heard. The other thing was maybe drug labs.”
Fox said the department directed callers to the AQMD for accurate information. When some called in about asthma problems, the department directed them to stay indoors and avoid exercise, he said.
The Los Angeles Fire Department reportedly started receiving phone calls early Monday morning, mostly from the Foothill and north Valley areas of the city.
Because the source of the smell was unidentified, there was nothing for firefighters to check out, said spokesman Brian Humphrey.
John Bradford, a 69-year-old Rialto resident, said he didn’t smell the odor. He was more concerned about local drinking water, which he described as tasting like “dirty socks and underwear.”
“Taxpayers should get better water for their dime,” Bradford said. “I’m not saying add a room on to everybody’s house, with a Jacuzzi and BMW. Just get us some good drinking water.”