For the past 60 days I have working with Titanium Solutions as a Home Retention Consultant (HRC) in an effort to bridge the gap between homeowners and lenders who are working on loan modifications and short sales. Being in the trenches, so to speak, has allowed me a different vantage point on what is working. and loan modifications are working.
The Obama Administration has added new incentives and uniform procedures for short sales under its new Foreclosure Alternatives Program (FAP), part of the administration’s Making Home Affordable plan.
- Borrowers/homeowners 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 include: $1,000 for servicers for successful completion of a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure; $1,500 for borrowers/homeowners to help with relocation expenses; and 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Servicers may not charge fees to borrowers/homeowners for participating in the FAP.
- The program is in effect through 2012.
- Servicers have the option to require the borrower/homeowner 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).Mortgage modifications are really happening. Get yours.
The Obama administration’s “Making Home Affordable” program is beginning to have an impact. As of last week, Chase Mortgage, the servicing side of JP Morgan Chase, had modified 15,000 home loans under the program. Bank of America also has sent out 100,000 letters to borrowers whom could benefit. Homeowners wanting to receive a mortgage modification should begin by visiting the government Web site, www.makinghomeaffordable.gov. Once there, borrowers can take a quiz to find out if they are eligible for a mortgage modification under the “Making Home Affordable” program. At the end of the quiz, based on the answers provided, the site will tell borrowers if they are likely to qualify for a modification under the program. The site also provides helpful tips about gathering the proper paperwork, including pay stubs; tax returns; savings account records; mortgage statements; second mortgage information, such a home-equity loan statements; credit card bills; and information on other debt, including student and car loans.