Effective Today Fannie & Freddie Get a Green Light to Save You Another Step

Fannie Mae Reaches Short Sale and Deed-in-Lieu Delegation Agreements with Mortgage Insurers

WASHINGTON, DC – Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) announced today that it has reached delegation agreements with all of its mortgage insurer counter parties so that servicers can complete short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure without seeking approval from the insurer.  These agreements will further streamline the foreclosure prevention process and allow short sales and deeds-in-lieu to be completed more efficiently.

“Short sales and deeds-in-lieu are important tools to prevent foreclosures and help struggling borrowers,” said Leslie Peeler, senior vice president, National Servicing Organization, Fannie Mae. “These delegation agreements create an even more streamlined process that will ultimately help more families avoid the costly effects of foreclosure and benefit taxpayers.  We are pleased that the mortgage insurance companies have stepped up to the plate with us to help more homeowners.”

Previously, Fannie Mae had individual delegation agreements with the majority of its top mortgage insurer counterparties.  Now, a standard delegation agreement has been reached with all nine mortgage insurers, making the approval process more consistent and efficient for servicers and borrowers.

The new delegation agreements allow servicers to approve any short sale or deed-in-lieu that meets Fannie Mae’s requirements without individual mortgage insurance approval.

These agreements are an important achievement in Fannie Mae’s efforts to stabilize neighborhoods and have been established with CMG Mortgage Insurance Company, Essent Guaranty, Inc., Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corporation, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation, PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., Radian Guaranty Inc., Republic Mortgage Insurance Company, Triad Guaranty Insurance Corporation, and United Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company.  All delegation agreements will be effective as of November 1, 2012.

Borrowers can visit http://www.knowyouroptions.com/ for foreclosure prevention information and resources, including how to contact Fannie Mae’s twelve Mortgage Help Centers across the country.  Through the first six months of 2012, Fannie Mae completed 142,987 loan workout solutions, including 46,226 short sales and 7,509 deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure.  Earlier this year, Fannie Mae announced new short sale guidelines and new short sale timelines.

Fannie Mae exists to expand affordable housing and bring global capital to local communities in order to serve the U.S. housing market. Fannie Mae has a federal charter and operates in America’s secondary mortgage market to enhance the liquidity of the mortgage market by providing funds to mortgage bankers and other lenders so that they may lend to home buyers. Our job is to help those who house America.

via News Release – Fannie Mae Reaches Short Sale and Deed-in-Lieu Delegation Agreements with Mortgage Insurers | Fannie Mae.

So You Missed the Deadline for Debt Relief Exemption?

When you escape a debt the IRS normally counts the amount of the debt you were forgiven as income, and taxes you accordingly.  In terms of a taxable event, this could be significant to you financially.

Example:  You owe $550,000 on your mortgage, but the current market value is $350,000.  Under an a Short Sale agreement with your lender, you sell your home for the $350,000 and the remaining $200,000 is forgiven. Enter the IRS, who view the $200,000 as taxable income!

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act addresses this very scenario, and has been in effect for the last 5 years for distressed home owners who short sell  their homes between 2007 and 2012. This act allows a home owner a tax exclusion for the forgiven mortgage debt. However, the measure is due to expire at the end of 2012 with a very good chance it will NOT be extended before the end of this year.

We are still 2.5 months from the end of this year–the deadline to close so that you can benefit from the current Mortgage Debt Relief Act.  Getting from listing to close in that time is a challenge  but may be doable depending on your lender.

One advantage you have right now is that the inventory of available homes for sale in Sonoma County is drastically low.  Buyers are competing aggressively for homes and that is pushing the prices up.  Depending on your lender, it may be possible still to accomplish a short sale in time so that you don’t have to hope that the bill is extended next spring.

But if you missed it, and there is a chance you may at this stage…have some hope.

It is believed that the law may be retroactively extended in spring of 2013. So, if you talk to your accountant, you may find that by going ahead with your short sale and doing an extension next year, you would be able to claim the benefit after all.  There is still a chance that it won’t be renewed, but if a Short Sale is definitely in your path, then this gives you an added chance to avoid penalty.

By extending your tax return to October 15th, 2013, if the law is extended retroactively in the first half of 2013, you may then be able to exclude the forgiven amount. Remember: consult with a tax professional before deciding.

HAMP Update: Investment Property Eligible & Other Good News

Hamp Update: Investment Property Eligible & Other Good News

HAMP (Home Affordable Mortgage Program) has made some very exciting changes lately.

  • Incentives to Lenders to do write-downs (reduce the principal on a loan) have been increased up to 3 times the previous amount.  That mean lenders can receive anywhere from 18 to 63 cents on the dollar for each dollar reduced on the mortgage.
  • The program is now open to Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac.
  • It’s been expanded to include investment property as long as it is tenant occupied.

These changes are all focused on making mortgages more affordable and spreading out the loss and getting inflated debt off the backs of Homeowners.

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.

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!