What's in HAFA?

The coming boom in short sales may accelerate the end to the foreclosure crisis by cleaning out the overhang of borrowers in distress and replacing them with more stable homeowners. Plus, these sales are better for distressed borrowers because their credit scores suffer less. Going through a foreclosure can knock 200 points off a FICO score, twice as much as the penalty for a short sale. I'll provide details as they come along, but here's a primer from the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

- Complements HAMP by providing a viable alternative for borrowers (the current homeowners) who are HAMP eligible but nevertheless unable to keep their home.

- Uses borrower financial and hardship information already collected in connection with consideration of a loan modification.

- Allows borrowers to receive pre-approved short sales terms before listing the property (including the minimum acceptable net proceeds).

- Prohibits the servicers from requiring a reduction in the real estate commission agreed upon in the listing agreement (up to 6%).

- Requires borrowers to be fully released from future liability for the first mortgage debt (no cash contribution, promissory note, or deficiency judgment is allowed).

- Uses standard processes, documents, and timeframes/deadlines.

- Provides financial incentives: $1,500 for borrower relocation assistance; $1,000 for servicers to cover administrative and processing costs; and up to $1,000 for investors for allowing a total of up to $3,000 in short sale proceeds to be distributed to subordinate lien holders (on a one-for-three matching basis).

- Requires all servicers participating in HAMP to implement HAFA in accordance with their own written policy, consistent with investor guidelines. The policy may include factors such as the severity of the potential loss, local markets, timing of pending foreclosure actions, and borrower motivation and cooperation.

See you at the top

Martin Crawford

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