What is Your Stress Style?

Like the difference between an introvert and an extrovert, we all react differently to stress.  Some of us get energized and spring into action, some adopt the head in the sand, hope it goes away position.  Don’t judge yourself, it is just the first impulse.  You can still decide to do something different.

You know that stack of unopened letters from the bank?  One of them may contain a way to get back on track and avoid a foreclosure.  Ever since the government put the banks on notice with the Robo Signing $24 billion judgement, banks have been active in offering alternatives to foreclosure.  They include interest reduction, lowering payments, short sale cash incentives and, in rare instances, principal reductions.

What you don’t know CAN hurt you.

I know it is hard, but there may be hope yet.  Wouldn’t you feel awful if your found out later that you did have a way out?  So, pull your head out of the sand and grab your letter opener and find out what options may be waiting.

Here are some examples of things that have gone out in the mail and unfortunately have been ignored by stressed out homeowners….

  • B of A selected 200,000 delinquent homeowners for a principal reduction of up to $150,000 a piece.  They sent the letters registered mail.
  • Chase is offering cash incentives of anywhere from $2,500 to $45,000 to do a short sale.  They selected 57,000 homeowners and sent the notice out in the mail.
  • In the last 6 months banks have been on the move and coming up with loan modification and short sale programs and they are mostly notifying their customers through the mail.

So go ahead…open them up.

If there is nothing in the mail, call your lender and ask what other solutions they have. New ones may have been added since the last time you spoke to them.  Good luck and call me if I can be of help.

Tip:  Ask a close friend(s) over, hand them a letter opener and make a party of it.  Whoever finds an incentive offer first, gets the door prize!

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B of A Takes Pilot Short Sale Relocation Assistance Program Nationwide

A pilot program begun in Florida is now being taken nationwide by Bank of America.  The program provides home owners with relocation assistance when they complete a Short Sale.

Amounts run from $2,500 to $30,000 depending on the situation, the value of the property, and the decision of the investor who owns the loan.

Here’s the criteria:

  • Must have pre-approval for a short sale
  • Must participate in either the government’s HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative) short sale program or B of A’s proprietary short sale program
  • Process must be initiated by 2012
  • Sale must be completed by September 13, 2013

Note:  Short Sales already in escrow are not eligible for this program.

Don’t Throw that Letter Away! It May Have $150,000 in It!

Bank of America Offers Principal Reductions to 200,000 Homeowners

A select group of struggling mortgage borrowers are about to get an offer that sounds too good to be true. Executives at Bank of America say they will begin mailing 200,000 letters offering certain customers mortgage principal reductions.

If people get these things and toss them, they won’t be eligible,” says Ron Sturzenegger, the Bank of America executive charged with providing solutions to borrowers in need of mortgage assistance.

But the offer is real, and eligible borrowers could get as much as $150,000 knocked off the balance of their mortgages.

It is all part of the $25 billion settlement reached this year between federal and state agencies and the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers over fraudulent foreclosure document processing (so-called “robo-signing”.)

Via:  Bank of America Offers Principal Reductions to 200,000 Homeowners – CNBC.

And, watch this video:

Lenders Paying Homeowners to Do Short Sales

Source: February 26th, 2012 in CDPE bulletin…

For awhile now, we’ve instructed agents on government incentives available to distressed homeowners who opt to do short sales. Such programs include the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program, which provides up to $3,000 to assist the borrower with relocation fees.

In recent news, major publications including USA TODAY and CNN Money have spotlighted the incentives provided by banks. These incentive programs, which offer anywhere from around $2,000 to upwards of $35,000, are intended to provide homeowners with the resources and motivation to pursue a short sale.

As banks look to ramp up short sales, such incentives are becoming more frequent. JPMorgan Chase began their incentive program last year, for example, and Bank of America (which plans a 60-70% increase in short sales this year) piloted a program in Florida this past December. Wells Fargo offers incentives as well, though primarily in states where the foreclosure process is particularly lengthy.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: This year looks to be the year of the short sale.

For banks, short sales can be a cheaper alternative to foreclosure. The foreclosure process is lengthy and costly, so much so that providing up to a $20,000 alternative for a short sale is still a cheaper option.

In USA TODAY’s article “Lenders Paying Borrowers to Do Short Sales”, Jim Gillespie, chief executive of Coldwell Banker, is quoted as saying “It’s a lot cheaper to shell out $10,000 or $20,000 to someone than it is to go through a long foreclosure.”

In addition to the cost of the foreclosure process itself, foreclosed properties sell for less than short sales on average. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, foreclosed properties sold for 22% less than conventional sales, while short sales sold for around 14% less.