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What Short Sale Sellers Should Know About the New Short Sale Guidelines (HAFA)

By Kathryn Bovard

On November 30, 2009, the Treasury Department released guidelines and forms for its new Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA).  HAFA is part of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

HAMP/HAFA Short Sales

Let’s discuss some of the key points outlined in these new guidelines and try to clear up misconceptions:

  1. Not all Loan Servicers have to follow these guidelines! In fact, it applies only to Servicers who have signed agreements to participate in HAMP are also required to comply with HAFA.  A list of servicers participating in HAMP is available at MakingHomeAffordable.gov.
  2. HAFA applies to loans not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which will issue their own versions of HAFA in coming weeks.
  3. Complements HAMP by providing a viable alternative for borrowers (the current homeowners) who are HAMP eligible but nevertheless unable to keep their home.  Visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov to find out if you may be eligible for a HAMP loan modification. Basic eligibility criteria:

    • The property is the borrower’s principal residence
    • The mortgage loan is a first lien mortgage originated on of before January 1, 2009
    • The mortgage is delinquent or default is reasonably foreseeable
    • The current unpaid principal balance is equal to or less than $729,750
    • The borrower’s total monthly mortgage payment (principle, interest, taxes, insurance and HOA fee) exceeds 31 percent of the borrower’s gross income
  4. Uses borrower financial and hardship information already collected in connection with consideration of a loan modification. 
  5. Allows borrowers to receive pre-approved short sales terms before listing the property (including the minimum acceptable net proceeds).  Hopefully this will speed up the lengthy process everyone has been experiencing for final short sale approval. 
  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).  This would be some of the best news for Nevada Homeowners!
  7. Uses standard processes, documents, and timeframes/deadlines. We have not seen the forms / standards as of yet…
  8. 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).
  9. The program does not take effect until April 5, 2010, but servicers may implement it before then if they meet certain requirements. The program sunsets on December 31, 2012.  To read the entire Supplemental Directive 09-09 – Introduction to Home Affordable Foreclsoure Alternatives

Are you a Las Vegas Homeowner facing a possible foreclosure or considering a short sale?
The Serra Group is here for your confidential, no obligation
regarding your options – there are solutions!  Call Kathryn at 702-348-7191.

Related posts:

  1. HAFA Series Part 2…Who is eligible for HAFA?
  2. HAFA Series Part 5 – Can I Request a HAFA Short Sale without doing a HAMP modification?
  3. HAFA Series Part 1 – What is the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program?

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