I already modified my mortgage, but because of new circumstances I am late again. Must I Short Sale my home now?
You may be able to get another loan modification based on your “new circumstances.” The HAMP guidelines were recently changed to address this situation. Homeowners who have defaulted on a trial or permanent HAMP loan modification are now eligible for a new HAMP loan modification. Additionally, the bank can always offer you an in-house loan modification if they want to. You may have several other options you can explore before doing a short sale. One of your options may be a chapter 13 bankruptcy. We have developed several strategies to assist distressed homeowners. A Short Sale is never the first option! It may be a good idea to consult with an attorney before making a final decision.
Foreclosure Defense Attorneys
Call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 to discuss your options.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Short Sale Guidelines
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Short Sale Guidelines
Yesterday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced new short sale guidelines for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. The new guidelines go into effect Nov. 1, 2012. We like most of the new guidelines. The new guidelines “will permit a homeowner with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage to sell their home in a short sale even if they are current on their mortgage if they have an eligible hardship.” We believe that being able to short sale a home while being current on that home’s mortgage is important. We have had many cases where a short sale was deemed not possible, as per the mortgage servicer, because the homeowner was current on his/her mortgage. We also like that “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer up to $6,000 to second lien holders to expedite a short sale.” At times, it can be nearly impossible to complete a short sale when the second lien holder is different from the first. Hopefully, this new guideline creates an incentive for second lien holders to expeditiously approve short sales.
There is one new guideline that may be an issue for some distressed homeowners looking to complete a short sale: “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will waive the right to pursue deficiency judgments in exchange for a financial contribution when a borrower has sufficient income or assets to make cash contributions or sign promissory notes: Servicers will evaluate borrowers for additional capacity to cover the shortfall between the outstanding loan balance and the property sales price as part of approving the short sale.” We have seen this done in the past. For some it might make sense to make a financial contribution, but for others it will not make sense to sign a 30 year promissory note or raid their 401k to complete a short sale.
At any rate, this appears to be a move in the right direction. Here are the guidelines ( from the FHFA News Release):
The new guidelines:
- Offer a streamlined short sale approach for borrowers most in need: To move short sales forward expeditiously for those borrowers who have missed several mortgage payments, have low credit scores, and serious financial hardships the documentation required to demonstrate need has been reduced or eliminated.
- Enable servicers to quickly and easily qualify certain borrowers who are current on their mortgages for short sales: Common reasons for borrower hardship are death, divorce, disability, and distant employment transfer or relocation. With the program changes, servicers will be permitted to process short sales for borrowers with these hardships without any additional approval from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, even if the borrowers are current on their mortgage payments. Borrowers will now qualify for a short sale if they need to relocate more than 50 miles from their home for a job transfer or new employment opportunity.
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will waive the right to pursue deficiency judgments in exchange for a financial contribution when a borrower has sufficient income or assets to make cash contributions or sign promissory notes: Servicers will evaluate borrowers for additional capacity to cover the shortfall between the outstanding loan balance and the property sales price as part of approving the short sale.
- Offer special treatment for military personnel with Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders: Service members who are being relocated will be automatically eligible for short sales, even if they are current on their existing mortgages, and will be under no obligation to contribute funds to cover the shortfall between the outstanding loan balance and the sales price on their homes.
- Consolidate existing short sales programs into a single uniform program: Servicers will have more clear and consistent guidelines making it easier to process and execute short sales.
- Provide servicers and borrowers clarity on processing a short sale when a foreclosure sale is pending: The new guidance will clarify when a borrower must submit their application and a sales offer to be considered for a short sale, so that last minute communications and negotiations are handled in a uniform and fair manner.
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer up to $6,000 to second lien holders to expedite a short sale. Previously, second lien holders could slow down the short sale process by negotiating for higher amounts.
Long Island Foreclosure Attorneys
If you have any questions about this or other legal issues, feel free to call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620 today to speak to an Attorney.
New York Shadow Inventory
The Wall Street Journal had a very interesting article written by Nick Timiraos (a link to the article is provided below) regarding shadow inventory. The article talks about interesting topics such as the decrease in the new homes being built and its effect on investor interest in REO (bank owned properties) properties. Freddie Mac analysts are citing the reduction in new home building as a reason why the once assumed over saturated “shadow inventory” is not smothering and hampering the housing recovery.
Foreclosure Defense Attorneys
If you are considering a foreclosed property as an investment and have questions, please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620 to speak to an attorney.
Foreclosure Settlement Conferences
What you should know about Foreclosure Settlement Conferences!
Residential foreclosure defendants in New York are entitled to a preliminary foreclosure settlement conference that may enable a speedier and less expensive way of resolving their foreclosure issue than would otherwise be possible. The law requiring the conference – New York Civil Practice Law and Rules section 3408 – is beneficial for foreclosure defendants in a number of ways.
- First, foreclosure settlement conferences are typically less expensive than trial. Thus a foreclosure settlement conference requirement alone is beneficial. But section 3408 does not simply require a conference – it also requires that parties engage in good-faith negotiation for the purpose of “determining whether the parties can reach a mutually agreeable resolution to help the defendant avoid losing his or her home.” Further, the law requires that parties periodically update the court about the negotiation, allowing courts to evaluate whether negotiations are made in good faith. It is rare that legislation requires parties to make good-faith efforts to reach a resolution that is favorable to the defendant, and foreclosure defendants should take advantage of this requirement.
- Additionally, the law requires that the settlement conference occur within sixty days of the day proof of service is filed with the court, unless the parties agree to conference on another date. This allows foreclosure defendants to enter negotiations quickly, avoiding long periods of uncertainty that would certainly add stress to an already stressful situation.
- The law also requires parties to bring certain documents to the conference, gives the court an opportunity to require additional documents, and forbids either party from charging the other for legal expenses associated with the conference. Foreclosure defendants may be able to use the conference period to find out information about their case that may otherwise only be obtained through a potentially expensive discovery process.
Foreclosure Attorneys in Nassau County
Of course, foreclosure defendants may appear at the conference with counsel, which may help them take full advantage of the procedure. The Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC routinely represents clients through all phases of a foreclosure action. If you are facing a foreclosure, and would like to speak with an attorney about a settlement conference, or any other step in the foreclosure process, feel free to call (516) 858-2620 today.
*Contributions to the research and preparation of this blog were made by Jason Mays, J.D. (awaiting admission in NYS).