Category Archives for "Short Sales"

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Don’t Fall Victim to a Mortgage Relief Scam

Have you thought about looking for an “”easy-fix” for mortgage problems you are experiencing? Don’t sign up for just any program. Due to an increasing amount of scams that take advantage of homeowners, the Federal Trade Commissio FTC has issued regulations protecting consumers against relief fraud.

Everyone could benefit from learning about these regulations and by downloading this free report you can protect yourself from potentially fraudulent activity.

The short sale has gone upscale

The short sale has gone upscale.

As the stress on the economy continues, more homeowners are having difficulty paying their mortgages. The “mortgage crisis” as it is now known, is impacting homeowners across a much broader range of the economic spectrum. Nancy Braun, Owner and Broker-in-Charge of Showcase Realty, is seeing that in addition to low and moderately priced homes, upscale and even luxury homes are experiencing mortgage issues and have become part of the short sale market.

“The choice for a homeowner to sell as a short sale emerges when a homeowner has a mortgage balance that is greater than current fair market value of their home and there is a change in circumstance that makes it difficult for the homeowner to stay current on their mortgage,” Braun says, “Much like applying for a mortgage, the owner must apply with the lender for a short sale and will need to show a hardship of some kind. If this hardship is acknowledged by the lender and the home is then sold with the consent of the lender, the remaining portion of the loan is typically forgiven. Although in some cases lenders reserve the right to seek a deficiency judgment against the individual for the unpaid portion of the loan.”

In 2010, 51% of Mecklenburg county sales involved mortgages in trouble (only 49% were traditional market sales between a willing buyer & seller).

Foreclosures of luxury homes in Mecklenburg, Union and surrounding counties have grown dramatically in the past year and these homeowners need to know they have options before they lose their home to the bank. A foreclosure can have devastating effects on a homeowner; they may be denied a security clearance, incur substantial damage to their credit, and have to disclose to potential employers and are subject to a deficiency judgment. A short sale is an alternative to foreclosure that typically has less of an adverse impact on a homeowner.

“Our firm specializes in distressed property sales, and we expect the volume high-end transactions to continue to increase in the summer months ahead. In fact we have opened a new office in Matthews that will specialize in the luxury distress market, staffed with agents that specialize in the luxury market,” Braun added.

January 2012 Carolina Multiple Listing Service reported 2074 homes listed over $500,000 but only 72 homes sold in that price range (only 3% of the properties listed actually sold). As a result, there is a 29 month supply of luxury homes on the market.

Braun said many lenders have streamlined the short-sale process and are now more receptive to short sales, which has helped make the short sale a dominant force in the housing market. Short sales are averaging between 50 and 60 days. Some are done in less time and others can take longer but this is a shorter time period than it was one year ago. They experience fewer costs in a short sale, and the homeowner often remains in the home until it closes so the home is maintained and shows better while it is on the market.

Luxury Home Short Sales Grow in Importance

The luxury market is facing increasing pressure, aggravated by credit market difficulties in the jumbo mortgage market. Limited loan availability, higher than usual interest rates for jumbo loans and stringent loan qualifying requirements have slowed sales of luxury properties.

The lack of refinancing opportunities, fewer qualified buyers for luxury homes, a growing inventory of unsold luxury homes, and an economy in recession are all creating the “perfect storm” for luxury homeowners who need to sell and can’t.

Looking for a Good Deal in the Luxury Market? Team Up With a Luxury Home Specialist

Buyers can find incredible deals in the luxury market. It is a fantastic time to move up or simply purchase your dream home at a substantial discount. Showcase can assist you with finding a bank-owned home, short sale or otherwise motivated seller in this unique economic housing market. .

Showcase Realty has an expertise in the distressed real estate market. Nancy Braun and her Short Sale team have earned the nationally recognized Certified Distress Property Expert Designation (CDPE). If you are considering selling or purchasing a home you should consult with Showcase’s agents during these economic challenging times.

Contact them today at 704-889-5600 or Visit their websites  &  to learn more about the distress market and view affordable and available homes in the Charlotte Metro and surrounding areas.

**This article was featured in the March 2011 issue of At Home Magazine.

February 1, 2011

HAFA Update 2011: Effective NOW

There have been significant policy changes made to the HAFA Program (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives) are effective as of today, February 1, 2011. Look these over, and if you or someone you know applied for HAFA in the past and were denied you are now eligible to reapply. According to, the new policies address changes in the following guidelines:

  • Monthly Gross Income Verification
  • Vacant Property Requirements
  • Release of Subordinate Liens
  • Timing for Issuance of Short Sale Aggreement
  • Timing for Response to Alternative Request for Approval of Short Sale
  • Real Estate Brokerage Commissions
  • Alternative Deed-in-Lieu Programs
  • Borrower Notices Timelines

Why is HAFA Updating its Guidelines?

  • Junior Lien Holders not Satisfied with Payouts
  • Lack of Efficiency Guidelines
  • Lack of Servicer Adherence to Deadlines

These changes will mean a lot in the coming months for gaining approval through HAFA. Through December 2010, only 342 sales were completed since HAFA’s inception. It has gotten off to a rough start like other foreclosure-prevention initiatives. When HAMP was introduced, there was also a lag between introduction and success in the market. The treasury has paid $4.3 million on HAFA compared to $4 billion on HAMP. With the amount of traditional short sales, the less-strict changes that have been made should prove HAFA to come around and improve its numbers.

HAFA Policy Changes in a Nutshell:

  • Servicers are no longer required to verify that a borrower’s mortgage payment exceeds 31% of his or her monthly gross income.
  • Timelines extended to assist in relocations: Property may  now be vacant or rented 12 months prior to short sale application instead of only 90 days.
  • Junior Lien Holders Incentivized: Elimination of the 6% payout cap to junior lien holders will reduce pushback , especially for borrowers who owe less than $100,000, which is a great percentage of distressed homeowners.
  • Servicers MUST issue a response to borrowers who are requesting HAFA assistance within 30 days
  • Alternative Requests for Approval of Short Sale (A-RASS) must receive an approval, disapproval or counter offer within 30 days – increasing a transaction’s efficiency
  • The previously excluded deed-in-lieu alternative program is now eligible for certain HAFA benefits, given a successfully executed DIL.
  • Borrowers can be evaluated for HAMP and HAFA simultaneously, and if they are not approved for one they won’t have to reapply and start all over again.

These changes will make it somewhat easier on HAFA applicants to get approved. According to, the average loss on a short sale is 15%, the average loss on a foreclosure can be up to 85% on a subprime mortgage. Giving more homeowners the opportunity to decrease the possible loss in a foreclosure situation will make this program worth while for many people looking for options.

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