Short Sale 101

BASIC SHORT SALE QUESTIONS

Here are questions most homeowners ask about a short sale.

1. What is a real estate short sale?

A real estate short sale is a form of agreement between the seller of a home in the beginning stages of foreclosure and their lender, allowing the home to be sold for less than the existing loan balance outstanding. The mortgagee would accept less than the loan amount in order to avoid a foreclosure proceeding. This short sale would result in a substantially discounted purchase price for the buyer of the home. The buyer would then proceed with the purchase of the home much the same as in any conventional realty transaction.

2. How late in the pre-foreclosure process can you start a short sale?

Depending on individual state law and regulations, a foreclosure can proceed as quickly as 35 days from the date the notice to the borrower is filed. For that reason, time is of the essence and you should allow a window of no more than 60 days to effectuate a lender approved short sale.

3. Will a lender allow a real estate short sale when the seller has some a good amount of equity?

If the home has some considerable amount of equity, the lender may choose to continue with a traditional foreclosure proceeding to regain title to the property and dispose of it at a market price. Given the current state of affairs with the real estate market, the home will most likely be over encumbered, hence the reason for the short sale in the first place. A glut of homes for sale in the market area of the home may make the lender think twice about taking title to the property.

4. What documents are necessary to proceed with a short sale?

The individual documents necessary to proceed with the short sale will depend on the lender. Typically the lender will require hardship letter detailing the circumstances behind the short sale. A signed, valid purchase and sales contract, preliminary HUD-1 settlement statement and a preliminary estimate of proceeds to the lender. There may be additional requests for more detailed information on the financial condition of the seller, ie; pay check stubs, bank statements, a personal financial statement and monthly budget assessment, amongst other things.

5. Will the seller’s credit rating be affected if they allow a short sale on their property to occur?

While it is up to the individual lender to decide what to report, what often happens is the loan will report as “paid” on their credit report. While that good news the bad news is that there will likely be a reference that says “settled for less than originally owed” or something similar. It is certainly more advantageous to have the short sale referenced than to have a foreclosure on their credit report.

6. Will a lender allow the seller to make a profit on a short sale?

By the nature of the transaction, the seller is not going to make a profit on the short sale. They may have extracted equity from a previous refinance of the home, but their current loan balance will be higher than the selling price of the home.

7. If a seller is in bankruptcy, will that affect the short sale of the property?

Absolutely, as most lender would not consider a short sale if the homeowner is in the middle of a bankruptcy proceeding. Negotiating a short sale between the parties is considered a collection activity and such a negotiation is prohibited in bankruptcy.

8. Will the bank or lender require an appraisal on the home in a short sale?

Most lenders will require that a full appraisal be submitted in the short sale package. Some may only require a BPO or brokers price opinion. The lender will need some formal assessment of the value of the home in order to make a decision as to accept or reject the short sale offer.

9. Are there tax implications in the short of real estate?

Much like the issue of credit reporting, the circumstances are individual to the lender. As a short sale represents a loss for the lender, they can report the amount lost a debt forgiveness to the seller. If a formal tax form 1099 is filed, the seller may be responsible for paying taxes on the amount of debt forgiveness.

10.Why would a lender allow a short sale to occur?

Quite simply, it may benefit all the parties involved in the transaction. The seller is relieved of the home they cannot afford. A costly foreclosure proceeding by the lender is avoided and the buyer purchases the home at an attractive price.
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Take Action if You Are in Pre-Foreclosure Status

Foreclosure HelpThere’s no reason to put your home at risk. Prevent a foreclosure of your home. Take action today.

If you need to know what to do to stop a foreclosure, we can help.

If you are having difficulty making your monthly mortgage payments, you can protect your home, but you must act immediately. Your actions can prevent the loss of your home through foreclosure. With our help, we give provide you with the information you need to avoid foreclosure, but it is only the beginning. If you are having serious financial difficulties, you need to seek professional assistance and/or legal counsel to best protect your home.

The very first thing you need to do is call and communicate with your lender. Lenders are in the lending business, not the real estate business. Your lender will want to work with you and help you find a way to keep your home. The longer you wait, the more difficult this will be to do. If you are several months behind in your mortgage payments and you have not made contact with your lender, they will probably assume that you do not intend to repay their loan. Don’t avoid your lender or their calls. Do take action and know your rights in the process. Do be diligent in avoiding scam artists that may be contacting you to “help”.

Get your financial ducks in a row. Be prepared to discuss your problems honestly and in detail. Think about the questions you may be asked in advance and make notes to help you answer them. This may impress your lender that you are prepared and sincere.

If you are facing foreclosure, you do have several options. There are numerous ways in which your lender might be able to help you. You could start with debt counseling, which can help you to look at all your outstanding debt to see if any of it can be restructured or consolidated. Your mortgage payments would be the last payments that you would default on, so it is likely that you are experiencing difficulty with your other payments as well. Your lender/counselor can help you make a budget to structure a repayment plan.

There are several other legal options that you should pursue with your lender. Modifications, forbearance and recasting are all possible if you have sufficient equity in your home.

If your problem is serious enough that it can not be resolved in a reasonable amount of time, it may be necessary for you to sell your home and find a living situation that is more manageable. If it is possible to pay off the mortgage balance, you can settle your delinquent debt and avoid foreclosure. A short sale negotiation with your lender is another option to be explored. Make sure to work closely with your lender to allow a reasonable time to sell the home. If all else fails you may have the option of signing the home over to your lender, normally referred to as a “Deed-in-lieu”. Bankruptcy, as a last resort, can also be utilized in this process.

With all of these options available to you, there is no reason to lose your home. We give you all the tools and information that you need to make an educated decision on how to save your home.

What is a Short Sale

Short Sale HelpWhat is a Short Sale all About

A Short Sale Can Be Difficult and Stressful, but Successful.

A Short Sale in real estate is not always a pleasant transaction.

There are many ways to lose a home but signing away ownership in a manner that destroys credit, embarrasses the family and strips an owner of dignity is one of the hardest. For owners who can no longer afford to keep mortgage payments current, there are alternatives to bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings. One of those options is called a “short sale.”

More than half of my sales in Sacramento over the past few years are short sales. That’s how prominent short sales have become.

When lenders agree to do a short sale in real estate, it means the lender is accepting less than the total amount due. Not all lenders will accept short sales or discounted payoffs, especially if it would make more financial sense to foreclose; moreover, not all sellers nor all properties qualify for short sales.
If you are considering buying a short sale, there could be drawbacks. For your protection, I suggest that all borrowers:

  • Obtain legal advice from a competent real estate lawyer
  • Call an accountant to discuss short sale tax ramifications

As a real estate agent, I am not licensed as a lawyer nor a CPA and cannot advise on those consequences. Except for certain conditions pursuant to the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, be aware the I.R.S. could consider debt forgiveness as income, and there is no guarantee that a lender who accepts a short sale will not legally pursue a borrower for the difference between the amount owed and the amount paid. In some states, this amount is known as a deficiency. A lawyer can determine whether your loan qualifies for a deficiency judgment or claim.
Although all lenders have varying requirements and may demand that a borrower submit a wide array of documentation, the following steps will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.

  • Call the Lender

You may need to make a half dozen phone calls before you find the person responsible for handling short sales. You do not want to talk to the “real estate short sale” or “work out” department, you want the supervisor’s name, the name of the individual capable of making a decision.

  • Submit Letter of Authorization

Lenders typically do not want to disclose any of your personal information without written authorization to do so. If you are working with a real estate agent, closing agent, title company or lawyer, you will receive better cooperation if you write a letter to the lender giving the lender permission to talk with those specific interested parties about your loan. The letter should include the following:

o    Property Address
o    Loan Reference Number
o    Your Name
o    The Date
o    Your Agent’s Name & Contact Information

  • Preliminary Net Sheet

This is an estimated closing statement that shows the sales price you expect to receive and all the costs of sale, unpaid loan balances, outstanding payments due and late fees, including real estate commissions, if any. Your closing agent or lawyer should be able to prepare this for you, if you do not know how to calculate any of these fees. If the bottom line shows cash to the seller, you will probably not need a short sale.

  • Hardship Letter

The sadder, the better. This statement of facts describes how you got into this financial bind and makes a plea to the lender to accept less than full payment. Lenders are not inhumane and can understand if you lost your job, were hospitalized or a truck ran over your entire family, but lenders are not particularly empathetic to situations involving dishonesty or criminal behavior.

  • Proof of Income and Assets

It is best to be truthful and honest about your financial situation and disclose assets. Lenders will want to know if you have savings accounts, money market accounts, stocks or bonds, negotiable instruments, cash or other real estate or anything of tangible value. Lenders are not in the charity business and often require assurance that the debtor cannot pay back any of the debt that it is forgiving.

  • Copies of Bank Statements

If your bank statements reflect unaccountable deposits, large cash withdrawals or an unusual number of checks, it’s probably a good idea to explain each of those line items to the lender. In addition, the lender might want you to account for each and every deposit so it can determine whether deposits will continue.

  • Comparative Market Analysis

Sometimes markets decline and property values fall. If this is part of the reason that you cannot sell your home for enough to pay off the lender, this fact should be substantiated for the lender through a comparative market analysis (CMA). Your real estate agent can prepare a CMA for you, which will show prices of similar homes:

o    Active on the market
o    Pending sales
o    Solds from the past six months.

  • Purchase Agreement & Listing Agreement

When you reach an agreement to sell with a prospective purchaser, the lender will want a copy of the offer, along with a copy of your listing agreement. Be prepared for the lender to renegotiate commissions and to refuse to pay for certain items such as home protection plans or termite inspections.
Now, if everything goes well, the lender will approve your short sale. As part of the negotiation, you might ask that the lender not report adverse credit to the credit reporting agencies, but realize that the lender is under no obligation to accommodate this request. Credit report status is not always negotiable.

Short Sales Becoming Easier for Agents and Buyers

A recent survey conducted by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) showed that  some agents are finding the process of short sales has improved, and that is it easier to negotiate with lenders and close deals. 22% fewer respondents characterized short sales as “extremely difficult” to close in 2012 than in 2011, a significant decrease. 13% fewer respondents thought short sales were difficult in 2012 than in 2011. That number of C.A.R. agents who expressed difficulty in closing short deals had peaked in 2011, and is lower now than in 2010 and 2011.This could be a result of more agents gaining experience in short sales, that the process is becoming easier, and that many lenders are also hoping to avoid foreclosure and streamline the process as well.The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s policies will be simplified and aligned in order to help more homeowners who are underwater to qualify for short sales, helping to simplify the process, close deals, and help people out of financial trouble.

According to C.A.R. President, LeFrancis Arnold, these figures represent an improvement, but still leaves room for more. For example, at 23 in 2012, the Lender Performance Index is still well below the median of 50, indicating that lender communications and negotiation processes could be more effective. Arnold is optimistic, however, and notes that “C.A.R. has long advocated for a standardized short sale process, and agreeing to a more standardized process may be the best way for banks, servicers, REALTORS®, and homeowners to facilitate the sale of homes that qualify.”

I am a real estate expert in La Brea, California. If you have any questions about this beautiful area, or would like to discuss your real estate goals, please give me a call. I would be happy to show you the community, and to help you find what you’re looking for.

 

Great News for Those Facing Short Sale

Short Sale HelpRealtors and real estate associations have been voicing their concern over the long short sale process and have been pushing for a standardized faster short sale process. One that does not take many many months or even years. Our voices have been heard and as of November 1st, 2012 new guidelines announced from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) that will line up the same guidelines for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which will allow lenders and servicers to move the short sale process faster by qualifying borrowers easier and faster. 

Here are some specific changes that are effective Nov. 1, 2012:

  • Eliminates current Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac short sale programs and creates a single standard short sale process for both entities (Fannie and Freddie HAFA programs will expire at the end of the year).
  • Enables servicers to quickly and easily qualify certain borrowers who are current on their mortgages for short sales without waiting for an approval from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
  • Offers special treatment for military personnel with Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders.
  • Standardizes and clarifies foreclosure suspensions on a property with an approved short sale.
  • May pay borrowers up to $3,000 in relocation assistance.
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer up to $6,000 to subordinate lien holders to expedite a short sale.
  • Additionally, FHFA clarified that a borrower experiencing a hardship must wait at least two years before becoming eligible for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan.

These changes follow FHFA’s announcement in June that established strict timelines for servicers to respond to short sales within 30 days of receipt of a short sale offer, provide weekly status updates to the borrower, and communicate a final decision to the borrower within 60 days of receipt of the offer.

If you have more short sale questions, read our short sale section or contact us with any questions you have. We can suggest several different options to avoid foreclosure.

Understanding Short Sales: Click HERE

Consequences of Short Sale: Click HERE

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Consequences in Short Sale Or Foreclosure

Should I Short Sale or Foreclose??

Stop Foreclosure SignGoing the route of a short sale or foreclosure is a really tough decision. There are many factors and pitfalls in each. In the last couple of years there has been reform through the federal as well as the California legislature for homeowner protection. It is a good idea to talk to a Realtor to hear your options. It is also a good idea to talk to an attorney and tax advisor to see what if any legal or tax consequences there will be in your decision.

Deficiency Judgements and Tax Implications

The good news is that California offers some protections for consumers against deficiency judgments after short sales and foreclosures. A homeowner is generally protected against a deficiency judgment after short sale for a one-to-four residential unit property. The instances in which a homeowner is generally protected against a deficiency judgment following foreclosure include, among other things, a non-judicial foreclosure or a loan that is all of the following: 1) owner-occupied, 2) secured by a one-to-four unit dwelling and 3) purchase money. Homeowners are also protected against deficiency judgments after foreclosure of seller financing.

Sellers may be responsible for taxes on, among other things, cancellation of debt (COD) income, which is approximately the difference between the outstanding loan balance and the fair market value. The exceptions to being taxed on COD income include bankruptcy, insolvency and forgiveness of a nonrecourse debt after foreclosure. Nonrecourse debt in California is when a loan is made to purchase a one-to-four unit, owner-occupied property or when the seller carries back financing. In the case of a short sale or foreclosure, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 also provides an exception from federal taxation when the following conditions are met: 1) property must be a qualified principal residence as defined, 2) loan is secured by the residence, 3) income relief is capped at $1,000,000 for married couples filing separately and $2,000,000 for all others, and 4) loan is discharged after January 1, 2007 and before January 1, 2013. Additional rules apply under California law.

Credit Consequences And Timing

Credit may be adversely affected regardless of the type of sale—foreclosure or short sale. Credit score declines can vary and the negative mark may remain on the credit report for seven years. Both foreclosures and short sales might affect the ability to quality for a loan to purchase another home. In some short sale cases where the seller may have even been current with mortgage payments but sold the home for less than the outstanding loan amount, the credit report could indicate that the debt was settled for less than what was owed and the impact may be less severe.

In the event of a foreclosure, a borrower may not be able to qualify for another home loan for seven years without any extenuating circumstances, or five years with extenuating circumstances, under current Fannie Mae guidelines. The wait may be less with short sales. If payments are in arrears in a short sale, buyers may qualify to purchase another home within about two years for a Fannie Mae backed mortgage, or approximately three years for a FHA loan. If payments were current, consumers may qualify for another loan immediately, but it can be difficult to find a lender.

Exceptions and additional considerations apply to the conditions discussed, depending on individual circumstances. For consumers facing these difficult choices, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from an attorney and/or an accountant who can evaluate your specific situation.

This information is believed accurate as of February 2, 2012. It is intended to provide general answers to general questions and is not intended as a substitute for individual legal advice. Advice in specific situations may differ depending upon a wide variety of factors. Therefore, readers with specific legal questions should seek the advice of an attorney.

source: California Assoc of Realtors

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California Homeowner Bill of Rights Becomes Law

Governor signs California Homeowner Bill of Rights into Law


Foreclosure house for saleCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown signed into on July 11th 2012 the Homeowner Bill of Rights to help struggling Californians keep their homes. This law aims to avoid foreclosure where possible to help stabilize California’s housing market and prevent the other negative effects of foreclosures on families, communities, and the economy. The new law will generally prohibit lenders from engaging in dual tracking, require a single point of contact for borrowers seeking foreclosure prevention alternatives, provide borrowers with certain safeguards during the foreclosure process, and provide borrowers with the right to sue lenders for material violations of this law.

The Homeowner Bill of Rights has four major components:

  • Prohibiting “dual track” foreclosures that occur when a servicer continues foreclosure while also reviewing a homeowner’s application for a loan modification;
  • Creating a single point of contact for homeowners who are negotiating a loan modification;
  • Expanding notice requirements that must be provided to a borrower before taking action on a loan modification application or pursuing foreclosure; and
  • Allowing injunctions against foreclosure until violations are corrected and permitting civil penalties against servicers that file multiple, inaccurate mortgage documents or commit reckless or willful violations of law.

These new laws make California the first state in the nation to take provisions in the National Mortgage Settlement, which covered the nation’s five largest mortgage loan servicers, and apply those rules to all mortgage servicers.

California Homeowner Bill of Rights Becomes Law

All eyes in the nation now turn to California as Governor Jerry Brown signed into law today the Homeowner Bill of Rights to help struggling Californians keep their homes. This law aims to avoid foreclosure where possible to help stabilize California’s housing market and prevent the other negative effects of foreclosures on families, communities, and the economy. The new law will generally prohibit lenders from engaging in dual tracking, require a single point of contact for borrowers seeking foreclosure prevention alternatives, provide borrowers with certain safeguards during the foreclosure process, and provide borrowers with the right to sue lenders for material violations of this law.
The following is a summary of the key provisions of the Homeowner Bill of Rights that may affect California’s REALTORS® and their clients. The full text of this law, also known as Assembly Bill 278 and Senate Bill 900, is available at www.leginfo.ca.gov.

Applicability of the Law: This law will generally come into effect on January 1, 2013. It only pertains to first trust deeds secured by owner-occupied properties with one-to-four residential units, unless otherwise indicated below. “Owner-occupied” means the property is the principal residence of the borrower and secured by a loan made for personal, family, or household purposes (CC 2924.15). A “borrower” under this law must generally be a natural person and potentially eligible for a foreclosure prevention alternative program offered by the mortgage servicer, but not someone who has filed bankruptcy, surrendered the secured property, or contracted with an organization primarily engaged in the business of advising people how to extend the foreclosure process and avoid their contractual obligations (CC 2920.5(c)). A “foreclosure prevention alternative” is defined as a first lien loan modification or another available loss mitigation option, including short sales (CC 2920.5(b)). Some of the requirements of this law do not apply to “smaller banks” that, during the preceding annual reporting period, foreclosed on 175 or fewer properties with one-to-four residential units (CC 2924.18(b)).

No Dual Tracking During Short Sale: A mortgage servicer or lender cannot record a notice of default or notice of sale, or conduct a trustee’s sale, if a foreclosure prevention alternative has been approved in writing by all parties (e.g., first lien investor, junior lienholder, and mortgage insurer as applicable), and proof of funds or financing has been provided to the servicer. This requirement expires on January 1, 2018. Effective January 1, 2018, a lender or mortgage servicer cannot record a notice of sale or conduct a trustee’s sale if the borrower’s complete application for a foreclosure prevention alternative is pending, and until the borrower has been given a written determination by the mortgage servicer. Smaller banks are only covered by the requirements taking effect in 2018. CC 2924.11.

Cancelling a Pending Trustee’s Sale: A mortgage servicer must rescind or cancel any pending trustee’s sale if a short sale has been approved by all parties (e.g., first lien investor, junior lienholder, and mortgage insurer as applicable), and proof of funds or financing has been provided to the lender or authorized agent. For other types of foreclosure prevention alternatives, a lender must record a rescission of a notice of default or cancel a pending trustee’s sale if a borrower executes a permanent foreclosure prevention alternative. These requirements do not apply to smaller banks, and will sunset on January 1, 2018. CC 2924.11.

Providing a Single Point of Contact: For a borrower requesting a foreclosure prevention alternative, the mortgage servicer must, upon the borrower’s request, promptly establish and provide a direct means of communication with a single point of contact. The single point of contact must remain assigned to the borrower’s account until all loss mitigation options offered by the mortgage servicer are exhausted or the borrower’s account becomes current. The single point of contact must be an individual or team responsible for, among other things, coordinating the application for the foreclosure prevention alternative, giving timely and accurate status reports, having access to those with the ability and authority to stop foreclosure proceedings, and referring the borrower to a supervisor if any upon the borrower’s request. Each team member must be knowledgeable about a borrower’s situation and current status in the foreclosure alternatives process. These requirements do not apply to smaller banks as defined. CC 2923.7.

No Dual Tracking During Loan Modification: A mortgage servicer generally cannot record a notice of default, notice of sale, or conduct a trustee’s sale for a nonjudicial foreclosure if the borrower’s complete application for a first lien loan modification is pending as specified, or if a borrower is in compliance with the terms of a written trial or permanent loan modification, forbearance, or repayment plan. The borrower will have 30 days to appeal the denial of a loan modification, and the mortgage service cannot proceed with the above foreclosure steps until 31 days after giving the borrower a written denial of a loan modification, or longer if the borrower appeals the denial. To prevent abuse of this provision, however, a mortgage servicer is not obligated to evaluate a first lien loan modification application from a borrower who has previously been evaluated before 2013, or given a fair opportunity to be evaluated, unless the borrower submits a documented material change in the borrower’s financial circumstances. These specific requirements expire on January 1, 2018 at which time, as stated above, a lender or mortgage servicer will be prohibited from recording a notice of sale or conducting a trustee’s sale if the borrower’s complete application for a foreclosure prevention alternative is pending, and until the borrower has been given a written determination by the mortgage servicer. Smaller banks are only covered under the requirements commencing in 2018. CC 2923.6 and 2924.11.

No Late Fees or Application Fees: A mortgage servicer cannot collect any late fees while a complete first lien loan modification application is under consideration, a denial is being appealed, the borrower is making timely modification payments, or a foreclosure prevention alternative is being evaluated or exercised. A mortgage servicer is also prohibited from charging for any application, processing, or other fee for a first lien loan modification or other foreclosure prevention alternative. These requirements do not apply to smaller banks as defined. These requirements will sunset on January 1, 2018. CC 2924.11.

Additional Loan Modification Safeguards: Until January 1, 2018, a mortgage servicer must provide written acknowledgment of receipt within five business days of a borrower’s submission of a complete first lien modification application or any document in connection with a first lien modification application. The acknowledgement of receipt must provide a description of the loan modification process, including an estimated timeframe for the mortgage servicer to decide, other timeframes, and any deficiencies in the borrower’s application. CC 2924.10. Furthermore, effective January 1, 2013 with no expiration date, if a first lien loan modification is denied, a mortgage service must send a written notice to the borrower with the reasons for denial and additional information as specified. On January 1, 2018, the required content of the denial letter will change to comport with other changes that will take effect. Smaller banks need not comply with these requirements until January 1, 2018. CC 2923.6 and 2924.11.

Binding if Loan is Transferred: Any written approval for a foreclosure prevention alternative shall be honored by a subsequent mortgage servicer in the event the borrower’s loan is transferred or sold. This requirement does not apply to smaller banks. This requirement will expire on January 1, 2018. CC 2924.11.

Lender Required to Review Foreclosure Documents: No entity can record a notice of default or otherwise initiate the foreclosure process, except for the holder of the beneficial interest under the deed of trust, an authorized designated agent of the holder of the beneficial interest, or the original or substituted trustee under the deed of trust. Furthermore, a mortgage servicer must ensure that certain foreclosure documents are accurate and complete, and supported by competent and reliable evidence. Those foreclosure documents are the initial contact declaration, notice of default, notice of sale, assignment of deed of trust, substitution of trustee, and declarations and affidavits filed in a judicial foreclosure proceeding. A mortgage servicer must, before recording or filing these documents, review competent and reliable evidence substantiating a borrower’s default and the right to foreclose. The above provisions have no expiration date. However, until January 1, 2018, any mortgage servicer who engages in multiple and repeated uncorrected violations of its obligation to review foreclosure documents shall be liable for a civil penalty up to $7,500 per deed of trust in an action brought by the Attorney General, district attorney, or city attorney, or in an administrative proceeding brought by the DRE, DOC, or DFI against a respective licensee (see below for a borrower’s legal remedies). These provisions apply to all trust deeds, regardless of occupancy or number of units. CC 2924(a)(6) and 2924.17.

Extending Initial Contact Requirement: Existing law requiring a lender to contact a borrower 30 days before initiating foreclosure has been modified as well as extended with no expiration date. Originally set to expire on January 1, 2013, this provision generally prohibits a mortgage servicer or lender from recording a notice of default until 30 days after the lender or mortgage servicer contacts the borrower in person or by telephone to assess the borrower’s financial situation and explore options for avoiding foreclosure. During the initial contact, the mortgage servicer must advise the borrower of the right to request a subsequent meeting within 14 days, and provide a toll-free number to find a HUD-certified housing counseling agency. Any meeting may occur telephonically. Instead of directly contacting the borrower, a mortgage servicer can satisfy due diligence requirements in the manner specified. A notice of default must include a declaration that the mortgage servicer has complied with or is exempt from this initial contact requirement. An existing requirement for a declaration in the notice of sale will be eliminated. Until January 1, 2013, this law generally applies to loans made from 2003 to 2007 secured by owner-occupied residential properties with one-to-four units, whereas starting January 1, 2013, this law will generally apply to first trust deeds secured by owner-occupied residential properties with one-to-four units. CC 2923.5 and 2923.55.

Notifying Borrower Before NOD: A mortgage servicer cannot record a notice of default for a nonjudicial foreclosure until the mortgage servicer informs the borrower of the borrower’s right to: (1) request copies of the promissory note, deed of trust, payment history, and assignment of loan if any to demonstrate the mortgage servicer’s right to foreclose; and (2) certain protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act if the borrower is a service member or dependent. This requirement does not pertain to smaller banks as defined. This requirement expires on January 1, 2018. CC 2923.55.

Notifying Borrower After NOD: Within 5 business days after recording a notice of default, a mortgage servicer must generally send a written notice to the borrower on how to apply for the mortgage servicer’s foreclosure prevention alternatives if any. This notice is not required if the borrower has previously exhausted the first lien loan modification process offered by the mortgage servicer as specified. This requirement does not apply to smaller banks as defined. This requirement shall sunset on January 1, 2018. CC 2924.9.

Postponing a Trustee’s Sale: Whenever a trustee’s sale is postponed for at least 10 business days, the lender or authorized agent must provide written notice of the new sale date and time to the borrower within five business days after the postponement. However, any failure to comply with this requirement will not invalidate any trustee’s sale that would otherwise be valid. This requirement applies to all trust deeds, regardless of occupancy or number of units. This requirement shall sunset on January 1, 2018. CC 2924(a)(5).

Legal Remedies for Borrowers: A borrower may generally bring a private right of action to enjoin or stop a trustee’s sale until the mortgage servicer has corrected certain material violations of this law. If a trustee’s deed has already been recorded, the borrower may recover actual monetary damages for certain material violations. For intentional and reckless violations by the mortgage servicer, the borrower may recover treble actual damages or $50,000, whichever is greater. A prevailing borrower who is awarded relief under this provision can also recover reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. Certain violations by a person licensed by the DRE, DOC, or DFI are deemed violations of that person’s licensing laws. These provisions do not apply to smaller banks until 2018. CC 2924.12. C.A.R. opposed this provision because of our concern for bad faith claims, but the Legislature was not convinced.

Lender’s Standard of Care to Investors: The Legislature intends for a mortgage servicer to offer the borrower a loan modification or workout plan in accordance with the mortgage servicer’s contractual or other authority. Any duty a mortgage servicer has to maximize net present value under a pooling and servicing agreement is owed to all investors, not any particular investor. A mortgage servicer will be deemed as acting in the best interest of all investor if it implements a loan modification or workout plan in accordance with certain specified parameters. CC 2923.6.

source: CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

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Short Sale Questions Answered Here

Basic Short Sale Questions – Answered

Here are questions most homeowners ask about a short sale.

 1. What is a real estate short sale?

A real estate short sale is a form of agreement between the seller of a home in the beginning stages of foreclosure and their lender, allowing the home to be sold for less than the existing loan balance outstanding. The mortgagee would accept less than the loan amount in order to avoid a foreclosure proceeding. This short sale would result in a substantially discounted purchase price for the buyer of the home. The buyer would then proceed with the purchase of the home much the same as in any conventional realty transaction.

 2. How late in the pre-foreclosure process can you start a short sale?

Depending on individual state law and regulations, a foreclosure can proceed as quickly as 35 days from the date the notice to the borrower is filed. For that reason, time is of the essence and you should allow a window of no more than 60 days to effectuate a lender approved short sale.

 3. Will a lender allow a real estate short sale when the seller has some a good amount of equity?

If the home has some considerable amount of equity, the lender may choose to continue with a traditional foreclosure proceeding to regain title to the property and dispose of it at a market price. Given the current state of affairs with the real estate market, the home will most likely be over encumbered, hence the reason for the short sale in the first place. A glut of homes for sale in the market area of the home may make the lender think twice about taking title to the property.

 4. What documents are necessary to proceed with a short sale?

The individual documents necessary to proceed with the short sale will depend on the lender. Typically the lender will require hardship letter detailing the circumstances behind the short sale. A signed, valid purchase and sales contract, preliminary HUD-1 settlement statement and a preliminary estimate of proceeds to the lender. There may be additional requests for more detailed information on the financial condition of the seller, ie; pay check stubs, bank statements, a personal financial statement and monthly budget assessment, amongst other things.

 5. Will the seller’s credit rating be affected if they allow a short sale on their property to occur?

While it is up to the individual lender to decide what to report, what often happens is the loan will report as “paid” on their credit report. While that good news the bad news is that there will likely be a reference that says “settled for less than originally owed” or something similar. It is certainly more advantageous to have the short sale referenced than to have a foreclosure on their credit report.

 6. Will a lender allow the seller to make a profit on a short sale?

By the nature of the transaction, the seller is not going to make a profit on the short sale. They may have extracted equity from a previous refinance of the home, but their current loan balance will be higher than the selling price of the home.

 7. If a seller is in bankruptcy, will that affect the short sale of the property?

Absolutely, as most lender would not consider a short sale if the homeowner is in the middle of a bankruptcy proceeding. Negotiating a short sale between the parties is considered a collection activity and such a negotiation is prohibited in bankruptcy.

 8. Will the bank or lender require an appraisal on the home in a short sale?

Most lenders will require that a full appraisal be submitted in the short sale package. Some may only require a BPO or brokers price opinion. The lender will need some formal assessment of the value of the home in order to make a decision as to accept or reject the short sale offer.

 9. Are there tax implications in the short of real estate?

Much like the issue of credit reporting, the circumstances are individual to the lender. As a short sale represents a loss for the lender, they can report the amount lost a debt forgiveness to the seller. If a formal tax form 1099 is filed, the seller may be responsible for paying taxes on the amount of debt forgiveness.

 10.Why would a lender allow a short sale to occur?

Quite simply, it may benefit all the parties involved in the transaction. The seller is relieved of the home they cannot afford. A costly foreclosure proceeding by the lender is avoided and the buyer purchases the home at an attractive price.

 Being put in a situatioin of loosing your home is a tough pill to swallow. For most homeowners, a short sale is the best alternative after weighing all the options. We can help you figure out and teach you all the different option you have. We will put you in contact with our certified short sale specialists that will sit down with you, listen to why you are facing this situation, explain all the options you have and be there to answer all the questions you will have. We are good people here to help good people.  Contact us and we’ll setup an appointment to meet confindentially at your home if you wish. All at no costs to you.(That’s an option you may or may not of known of)

714.989.6599

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Your information will be kept confidential. We will never sell or give your information away.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

 Realty Source Home Living is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit rating.

 

Know Your Options – Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae Foreclosure HelpThese days you have to know your options. If your buying a home you have to know your options. If your selling your home, you need to know your options. If you are trying to loan mod or short sale, well you know the answer. Know your options!

Luckily Fannie Mae has created a web site that answers a lot of questions if you have a Fannie Mae loan. They will explain options to stay in your home or options to leave your home. They also offer in person or telephone support to answer your questions.

So your probably thinking, “Do I have a Fannie Mae loan?” Well here’s how you can find out. Go to Fannie Mae Lookup: www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup and see if your mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae. All you do is input your address and answer a couple of questions and it will tell you on the spot if you have a Fannie Mae loan.

Next thing you want to do is is visit Know Your Options: www.knowyouroptions.com by Fannie Mae and read all the valuable information on how they can help you resolve your issue.

If you have questions, contact us. We’re here to help.

 

How Can a HAFA Short Sale Help

How can a HAFA Short Sale help you?

But first, what is HAFA?

You can read below but to get a better understanding, you might want to watch this quick video.

The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program, known as HAFA, is designed to help owners (referred to below as borrowers) who are unable to retain their home under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). While the first priority is to keep families in their homes, where this is not possible with a loan modification, they may be able to avoid foreclosure by completing a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL) under HAFA.