Most homeowners find it difficult to understand why their bank will not reduce their principal loan amount; or reduce their monthly payment so they can keep their house. But, their banks are really offering cash incentives for them to short sale. Unfortunately, only the investors that own their loans can answer that question. The homeowner should be encouraged to call their bank and find out answers for themselves.
Economists say that the new short sell incentives are the most practical method for both banks and homeowners to get out of a sticky situation. Homeowners can avoid foreclosure and the devastating effect on their credit. Banks get to write off bad loans, avoiding the need for expenses to foreclose, which can be a lengthy process, averaging 619 days according to the latest figures from Realty Trac Inc.
Q: How do I know if I need to short sell?
A: If you are unemployed, under-employed, receiving unemployment benefits, have a mountain of medical bills to pay or you have financial hardship then you should consider short selling your home.
Q: Will I qualify for a short sell?
A: Homeowners whose house payments are 1/3 of their gross income will qualify.
Q: What kind of short sell incentives do I qualify?
A: Call a Bank of America short sell specialist at 1-866-880-1232. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am-10 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 5:30 pm Eastern time.
Q: Does the short sell relocation incentives comes with strings attached?
A: No. When a homeowner is given anywhere between $3,000 to $30,000 that money is offered to a homeowner for relocation assistance. The homeowner does not need to justify how this money will be spent. Homeowner is not required to pay this money back to the bank.
Q: When should I call my bank to find out how much short sell relocation assistance I qualify for?
A: Determining how much you qualify for is easy. Call your bank and tell them you are thinking about short selling. They will initiate a file in their database before an offer is received. Most banks are able to provide this information in less than 30 days.
Q: What else is required of the homeowner to qualify?
A: Homeowners must participate in one of the pre-approved price short sell programs, such as HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives) or Bank of America’s proprietary program. Specific investor participation and eligibility criteria do apply to these programs.
Currently, Bank of America is reviewing all current, in-process pre-approved price short sell agreements to determine who is eligible for this limited time offer.
Eligible homeowners actively participating in a pre-approved price short sell programs will receive a letter if they qualify for the additional relocation assistance.
Q: When will a homeowner receive this short sell assistance incentive?
A: The relocation assistance will be paid at closing. All the short sales that I am currently processing qualify for relocation assistance, most banks are offering a minimum of $1,000 to the homeowner for cooperation of the short sale. An FHA loan homeowner recently received $4,000 from Bank of America.
Annie Christian is a real estate broker and owner of The Annie Christian Real Estate Group. She helps with everything from buying and selling to foreclosure and short sale. To submit a question, call 351-5117. Her website is www.anniechristian.com.