Public awareness of real estate short sales has shown a marked increase in the last few years.
As homeowners seek to lessen their financial burdens in hard economic times, the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA) was created and has since been updated to create short sales as an option to foreclosure and provide much needed assistance to homeowners throughout the United States.
On June 1, 2012, new developments to the HAFA program loosened the requirements for qualification, making more homeowners eligible for this popular program. Previously homeowners had to be behind in payments to qualify, yet now homeowners who are currently paying their mortgage can receive assistance as well. Debt ratio requirements have been modified, making qualification easier to manage.
Another change is that homeowners no longer must “live” in the home for to be able to qualify for short sales. Prior to the program changes, a 12 month residency requirement had to be met by applicants. It’s also interesting to note that changes in the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) allow more people the ability to refinance as well, since home equity requirements have been reduced. Sellers who relocate can also receive relocation assistance of up to $3,000, and a variety of real-time, situational assistance by calling 888.995.HOPE (4673).
Perhaps the most historic change is that the new program does not impact a seller’s credit report as it did before. The credit report status of short sales can be listed as paid in full in most cases, making homeowners breath a little easier about their future, if a short sale is on the horizon.
To learn more about how these changes can individually impact you as a seller or how I can help you move through the short sales process quickly, please contact me. You can also read more about these changes directly by checking the HAFA website.