The ‘Perfect Storm’ for Short Sales Continues in 2013

Like 2012, 2013 may just continue to be the perfect storm for doing a Short Sale:

  • Sonoma County’s available inventory of homes for sale continues to be the lowest in years.
  • Competition for what inventory does exist has pushed up prices and turned the tables, making it a Sellers Market.
  • Bank and Government programs are getting more and more favorable for the Distressed Homeowner who needs to sell.
  • Lenders have too many foreclosures on their books, making Short Sales a better alternative for them.
  • Short Sales are getting, well, shorter because of improved operating standards by the banks and programs by the government.
  • The option to Short Sale is easier on your credit than a foreclosure, making it possible to buy another home sooner.

And the Number One Reason:  The Forgiveness of Debt Tax Relief Act has been extended to the end of 2013 saving you literally tens of thousands of dollars you would otherwise owe the IRS in Federal Income Tax after a Short Sale.

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:

Where Do You Begin?

Like a lot of difficult things in life, the first step is the hardest.

When you’ve come to the inescapable conclusion that there is just no way to keep up with your mortgage payments and that the longer you put off finding out what your options are, the worst things will be and the fewer avenues you will have open, you’re ready to do something, but what?

As a CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert), I know where to start and how to proceed and that is one of the biggest advantages I bring to the table on your behalf.   Everyone’s time frame is different and my approach will be different depending on how much time you have.

 CDPEs enjoy a 80% rate of success in Short Sales.

I’d like to see everyone exploring their options the day after they miss the first payment. Sadly, this hardly ever happens because we go into denial over our circumstances.  It’s a common human reaction, but don’t let it stop you from taking a step forward. Really, there should be no foreclosures hitting the market before a loan modification, and if that did not work, a Short Sale was attempted.

Unfortunately we see foreclosures hit the market every day where the home owner gave up because they just didn’t know there was any other way.

Picture a large flow chart with your house at the beginning.  On this chart there are connecting “routes” to the best outcome for you.  What route is taken depends on the amount of time you have, the number of lenders to negotiate with, and even the condition of the property.

The foremost goal is to save your home.  If that can’t be done, then to save your credit by Short Selling  your home.  So, where do you start?  By getting in touch with me by email or phone.  Let’s talk about what you are facing and what options are open to you.

Yes, I do short sales, but what I am after first is the best solution for YOU. I layout the options you may have after the facts of you particular situation are evaluated: loan modification, re-finance, non-profit services, federal programs,…  A short sale is one solution, but you may find a better one.

Foreclosures last approximately 7 years on  credit ratings.  For most families that is almost half the number of years their children live at home with them.

 

Why 2012 is the Best Time to Do a Short Sale

2012 may just be the perfect storm:  Sonoma County’s available inventory of homes for sale is the lowest in years. Banks and Government programs are getting more and more favorable for the Distressed Homeowner who needs to sell.  Banks have too many foreclosures on their books.   Short Sales are getting, well, shorter because of improved operating standards by the banks and programs by the government.   And the Number One Reason:  The Forgiveness of Debt Tax Relief Act expires at the end of this year.  Taking advantage of that may save you thousands in taxes you would otherwise have to pay.

Sound interesting?  Pick up the phone and call me!

Sheila Lawrence

707.829.7493

RealtyTrac: Foreclosures Set to Rise in 2012

RealtyTrac: Foreclosures Set to Rise in 2012

January 18th, 2012 in CDPE by cdpe

There’s both good news and bad news on the foreclosure front.

The good news? According to RealtyTrac’s Year-End 2011 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™, total U.S. foreclosure activity and the foreclosure rate were both at their lowest annual level since 2007.

The bad news? Foreclosure levels were artificially lowered due to delays following the robo-signing scandal. However, those delayed foreclosures will likely reappear in 2012.  Fortunately, both the financial and government sectors are more committed than ever to finding alternatives to foreclosure, including short sales.

In fact, Bank of America expects a 60-70% increase in short sale closings this year.

“There were strong signs in the second half of 2011 that lenders are finally beginning to push through some of the delayed foreclosures in select local markets. We expect that trend to continue this year, boosting foreclosure activity for 2012 higher than it was in 2011,” said Brandon Moore, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.

via The CDPE Blog – Real Estate Awareness

Why Would a Bank Accept a Short Sale?

Why Would a Bank Accept a Short Sale?

The easiest way to demonstrate why a bank will negotiate a short sale is to break down the costs of a foreclosure on a hypothetical property, one a short sale and the other a foreclosure.

The average cost of processing a foreclosure is between $40,000 & $50,000 for the bank before they ever bring the house to the market and pay the additional costs listed here.  That is why banks are moving increasingly towards Short Sales.

Say the property has a current value of $200K and the owner owes the bank $225K. But, the best offer to come in is for $190K.  The bank would be foolish to accept it, won’t they?  Maybe not.  Let’s go through the numbers.

Short Sale:

Market Value $200,000
Loan amount $225,000
Sale Price $190,000
Closing Costs @ 2.25%    -$4,275
Commissions @ 6%  -$11,400
Proceeds from sale $175,325
Loan Amount  $225,000
Less Proceeds -$175,325
Short Sale Lender Loss    $49,675
Loss Percentage      22.07%

Foreclosure on the Same Property:  

Market Value $200,000
Loan Amount $225,000
Sale Price $175,000
Legal Fees    -$7,000
Taxes       -$500
Insurance    -$1,000
6 Months Utilities       -$400
6 Months Maintenance       -$800
6 Months Interest Loss    -$6,650
Association Dues    -$1,200
Staffing Costs (Servicing Dept.)    -$2,000
Closing Costs @ 2.25%    -$4,275
Commissions @ 6%  -$11,400
Proceeds from sale $139,775
Loan Amount  $225,000
Less Proceeds -$139,775
Foreclosure Lender Loss   $85,225
Loss Percentage     37.87%

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.

12 Ways to Avoid Foreclosure

12 Ways to Avoid Foreclosure

  1. REINSTATEMENT: Bring the loan current
  2. FOREBEARANCE: Temporary repayment plan
  3. REFINANCE: New loan with reduction in monthly payments
  4. LOAN MODIFICATION: Modify original loan terms or reduce principal                 (Visit: www.hmpadmin.com and contact your bank.)
  5. SHORT REFI: (New) Qualify for this process by showing a hardship as well as the ability to pay the new mortgage
  6. SELL THE PROPERTY: Use equity to pay off or pay difference
  7. RENT THE PROPERTY: Must make loan current
  8. SERVICE MEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF (SCRA): Protection for military personnel in foreclosure in specific situations
  9. HAP: Department of Defense for eligible service members and federal civilians
  10. SHORT SALE: Negotiate with bank to accept a sale less than the loan amount due
  11. DEED IN LIEU OF FORECLOSURE: “Friendly Foreclosure”
  12. BANKRUPTCY: Will stall foreclosure, but not prevent it

HAFA Update: Lots of Good News for Stressed Home Owners

Due to expire at the end of 2012, HAFA is now extended to the end of 2013!

This is a huge positive development for a program focused on helping distressed homeowners out of their mortgages while keeping their credit ratings intact.

But, that’s not all; there’s lots more good news…

  • Removal of occupancy requirements. (Previously HAFA required homeowners to have lived in the property within the last 12 months.)
  • $3,000 cash incentive to the home owner still applies. Now covers either owner OR tenant occupied properties at the time of sale.
  • Secondary lien holder may receive up to a maximum of $8,500, up from $6,000 previously. This makes it easier to negotiate with the second who normally gets very little compared to the first.
  • Payments can continue to be made to the loan servicer, even if they are over 32% of income, to stay current until sale
  • Major Credit Reporting bureaus are changing the way they report a Short Sale to either  “13” (Paid in full or closed account, zero balance) or “65” (Account paid in full, a forclosure was started as applicable)
A homeowner can be current on their mortgage, qualify for HAFA, continue to make their payments, and execute a short sale with minimum impact on their credit!