South Florida homes for sale. David Manley, REALTOR.

Short Sale Information

Short Sale Information

A SHORT SALE – IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

Dear Neighbor,

Thank you for taking time to inquire about the Short Sale process. Below is current information to answer common Short Sale questions and how my team manages these transactions. Be assured, I have put together a team of qualified industry and legal professionals that are experts in obtaining Short Sale approvals that minimize the financial liabilities for the owner/seller, minimize the loss for the mortgage investor while presenting an equitable opportunity for the next owner.

The Short Sale process is complicated for processors and agents, but mostly pain-free for the home owner. The primary reason for this information packet is to demystify the process and reduce the “I heard from a friend” scenario. Each Short Sale is uniquely different and I can guarantee the results will be different from various horror stories floating about.

If you have any questions or find a Short Sale is a viable option for you, contact me immediately and we will initiate the process.

Best regards,

 

David Manley, Realtor, CDPE

Realtor.com Preferred Agent

Certified Distressed Property Expert

Bank of America Cooperative Short Sale Agent

RE/MAX IN MOTION

954-531-2236 Mobile

888-340-7652 Fax

david@remaxsouthflorida.com

www.remaxsouthflorida.com

 

Top Short Sale Myths 

A Short Sale can be an excellent solution for homeowners who must sell and owe more on their home than it is worth. Unfortunately, a number of myths about Short Sales have developed, and it is important to understand the reality of this process should you find it meets your current needs.

Myth #1 – The Bank Would Rather Foreclose Than Bother With A Short Sale

Banks DO NOT WANT TO FORECLOSE on your property; the foreclosure process is lengthly and incredibly costly. Banks, investors, and even the federal government have all publicly stated that if a person qualifies for a Short Sale, the deal needs to be considered. Overwhelmingly, banks receive more on their investment through a Short Sale rather than a foreclosure. But, if you are not making your mortgage payments...they have no choice but to initiate the foreclosure process.

Myth #2 -  I Was Denied, But My Friend Was Approved AND We Have The Same Lender! What's Going On?

First, both of you may have initiated your loans and they are being serviced by the same lender (example: Bank of America) but it is likely these loans are actually owned by two different entities and neither is the bank. What most don't understand, the majority of lenders don't loan their own money. Home loan portfolios (could be 500 or 1,000 loans combined) are bought and sold on Wall Street (Mortgage Backed Security). Yes, a private company, a city in Denmark or an individual investor can own your note and they all have defined their criteria for a Short Sale. For example; Bank of America has 500+ different investors and terms of the Short Sale vary by investor. So, the rules for each will be different.

Second, your friend's personal situation may be significantly different than yours. Even though you may have discussed your circumstances with each other, almost every Short Sale is different in a way that will impact the approval. In general conversation, most people do not share all the gritty details of their finances, in particular when the details are less than stellar.

Third, even though you have been denied before there is NO REASON not to try again. The process has been streamlined, guidelines have changed and/or there could have been an error made by your previous real estate agent or processor that resulted in your denial. The amount of damage that can be created by allowing your home to go in to or taken by the foreclosure process is worth the effort to get the approval via a second attempt.

Myth #3 – You Must Be Behind On Your Mortgage To Negotiate A Short Sale

This is not the case for most lenders. When the housing bubble burst, lenders, servicers and investors simply couldn't get their hands or head around the extent of the mortgage crisis. And, in the first few years of dealing with these issues, the only means of determining whether a homeowner had a legitimate argument for a short or modification was whether they were able to stay current at that time. What time has taught us, a preventive measure aids in assisting homeowners and the housing market in general. One other major factor for homeowners, you can't wait until the 11th hour to address your housing issue. As time moves forward, your options become fewer and fewer. And, at some point you will have no options at all.

Myth #4 – There Is Not Enough Time To Negotiate A Short Sale Before My Foreclosure

This is a myth that hurts homeowners the most. Many do not realize that a foreclosure is a process, and there is time to make decisions that may result in a better outcome. The foreclosing party—in most cases a lender—can stall a foreclosure up to the final day of the process. Today, many lenders will stall a foreclosure with as little as a phone call from you explaining that you are trying to sell, and almost all lenders will stall a foreclosure with a legitimate contract. Also, most judges hearing the case will grant time for a Short Sale to continue in the event there is a track record of efforts made by the seller. For real estate professionals who understand foreclosures and short sales, there is time available until the foreclosure process is complete. NOTE: It is imperative that you respond to the filing within the time frame mandated by Florida law and starting the Short Sale process early promotes the approval.

Myth #5 – Listing My Home As A Short Sale Is An Embarrassment

It is understandable to have reservations about advertising you owe more on your home than it's worth. But keep a few things in mind; (1) I will NOT place a Short Sale rider on the post sign on your front lawn unless you agree, (2) a Short Sale status must be entered within the MLS system (disclosure), (3) over 43% of ALL Florida mortgages are underwater [stat as of Aug 2012]. You are to be congratulated for taking action to resolve this issue AND finding a professional who can work with you toward a beneficial solution.

Myth #6 – Short Sales Are Impossible And Never Get Approved

Simply false. Immediately following the housing burst, not one lender or loan servicer was prepared for what awaited them as the amount of mortgage defaults to come was to set an all-time record. Since then, the process has leaped forward to the point of it being a science. The fundamentals or tasks related to reaching the approval are sound and for some... can be expedited inside 30 calendar days.  But, are short sales more difficult to execute? Yes. Do you, as a homeowner, need to learn about this new process? Yes. Are they impossible? Absolutely NOT. As a primary example of how the environment has changed; agents with the Certified Distressed Property Expert® (CDPE) Designation receive thousands of short sale approvals on a monthly basis. These professionals have undergone extensive training in methods to help homeowners in distress and process these Short Sales. While there are no guarantees in any transaction, more and more Short Sales are being approved regularly via these industry trained professionals. Not only do CDPE's execute and accomplish more Shorts Sales than agents lacking this critical designation, but as being specifically trained for this type of transaction, can usually tell you during the first meeting whether you are positioned to successfully acquire an approval.

Myth #7 – Banks Are Waiting On A Bailout And Not Accepting Short Sales

Banks (and the U.S. government) are trying to do everything they can, within reason, to avoid foreclosing on properties. It is preposterous to believe they would deny a short sale in hopes that some future legislation would pass and pay them for losses. Today, more banks are aggressively pursuing Short Sales and working with agents who understand how to process them. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other major lenders have hosted national training events specifically for real estate agents where the goal is to "eliminate distressed assets through modification or short sale process."

Myth #8 – Buyers Are Not Interested In Short Sale Properties

Thankfully, this is not true. In fact, I field many calls from buyers who say they only want to look at foreclosure and short sales. For buyers, short sales and foreclosures have become synonymous with "good deals." More specifically, investors and international buyers are targeting these properties. Listing with an experienced Short Sale agent will provide you with a greater chance of seeing a contract on your property. There are always buyers that want to maximize their buying dollar and if it takes a bit more time to do so they will. In addition, as lenders embrace the Short Sale process, they are building expediting procedures that simplify the process giving the agent the opportunity to place the property on the market with an approval therefore no waiting time for the buyer. Also, within these programs, lenders are offering HUGE incentives for owners to consider a Short Sale in lieu of the foreclosure process.

Myth #9 - After The Short Sale, I'm Going To Be Stuck With A Huge Debt For The Bank's Loss.

First: The bank's loss is defined by the term "deficiency." A deficiency is the amount owed on the back end of the transaction. For a basic example: if your mortgage payoff is $200,000 and the home sells at $150,000, the deficiency is $50,000. Second, EVERY Short Sale we manage, we automatically negotiate for a "Deficiency Waiver." This waiver denies the bank the opportunity to pursue this money. Meaning, there is no legal means to collect this debt and CANNOT be sold to a third party collection company down the road. Also, lenders have created cooperative Short Sale programs where the waiver is automatically issued with the approval.

Myth #10 - I Don't Have 6 or 8 Months To Wait For An Approval

Other than lender sponsored cooperative programs, where the approval is granted within a 45 day period, there is no such thing as a structured time period for a determination. The federal government has encouraged and has created incentives for lenders to expedite the process and lenders/servicers have answered this request by implementing systems and procedures to increase file productivity. The three main reasons for a long wait period are; (1) Submitting an incomplete seller package. There is a significant amount of physical documentation that is required in order to make a determination. And, if the owner does not provide this within the specified time frame, this will add time to the process and in some cases cause a denial. (2) 2nd mortgage and/or third party liens. The more negotiating that has to be done in order to reach a determination, the longer the process will be. We always recommend staying current with association fees, utilities and resolve any outstanding liens if possible. (3) Under staffing/File overload. Quite simply, the assigned bank processor's overall work load inhibits a timely response.

Myth #11 - I'm Going To Be Hit With A 1099 For The Loss.

Yes. A 1099 is automatically issued for the loss (deficiency) as per federal law. But, as of right now and thru the end of the year, deficiencies are exempt by the IRS up to $2,000,000, but only if the property is your primary residence. NOTE: All tax concerns should be addressed by a tax professional. 

Myth #12 - Any Real Estate Agent Can Do A Short Sale. THIS IS THE #1 PROBLEM WITH SHORT SALES TODAY

Any licensed agent has the legal ability to initiate the short. But, this is like asking if a doctor can address any medical issue. Theoretically yes, but would you want to...? The Short Sale process is extremely complicated for the agent and processing team, regardless of the individual circumstances. If you are not teamed up with an agent and processor that fully understands the process, lacks the tools to meet the demands of the loan servicer, lacks the relationships with the decision makers or lacks the fundamentals to manage the entire transaction within the defined criteria...your ability to successfully obtain the approval is reduced by a staggering rate. 

I have put (2) separate teams together to successfully negotiate short sales:

Team #1 deals will streamline shorts. These are bank specific cooperative programs or shorts that don't have extra baggage, such as third party liens or title issues.

Team #2 deals with more complicated shorts. These are shorts that involve negotiating additional liens, a 2nd mortgage, advanced stages of the foreclosure process or a secondary residence/investment property. Our teams are prepared to address any issue that comes to the table.

So, with a scenario that involves your single largest investment and possibly the single largest loss within your lifetime... why would you trust this life changing event to someone that statistically can't get it done or get it done to your benefit?

At The End Of The Day...

Let's be realistic about your situation; you cannot continue or have already stopped making your mortgage payments and cannot sell your property via traditional means because you owe more on the property than it's worth.

First, I completely understand where you are at and my heart goes out to you. The entire country is dealing with these issues in one way or another and for the most part aren't the cause of the problem. But what is your immediate problem, if you continue not paying your mortgage, do not modify your mortgage or do not Short Sale... the bank is going to foreclose and take your home. As complicated as life can be, this is the simple reality to your circumstance.

Second, there are tools available for you that will allow you to better manage this situation.

Third, if you have been denied a loan modification, a Short Sale is the last stop before foreclosure.

Fourth, if you have been denied a Short Sale in the past, we need to submit your short again...press forward, don't throw in the towel just yet.

Finally, you owe it to yourself and your family to use our services in attempts to correct your path for a brighter future. There are no hidden fees to our services, if fact, we won't charge you a penny as all costs of the Short Sale are paid by the lien holder.

So, take 15 minutes out of your day and call me. A free phone call could change your life. My direct line: 954-531-2236.

...more Short Sale information below

 

Frequently Asked Short Sale Questions

Q What is a Short Sale?
A Short Sale in real estate occurs when the outstanding obligations (loans) and cost of selling are greater than what the property can be sold for [upside down or underwater]. Short sales are a way for home owners to avoid foreclosure on their homes and still be able to pay off their loan by settling with their lender.

Q Do I qualify for a Short Sale?
Lenders/Investors vary in their requirements. However, most lenders require the following:

1. Until recently, most investors required your payment to be delinquent or about to be. Most lenders would not work with home owners who are successfully making or could continue to make their loan payments. Each lender’s policy is different; this is typically determined by the lien holder or investor’s guidelines. Today, most will permit a Short Sale with no delinquency as long as a viable hardship exists.

2. Do you have a qualifying hardship? Examples that qualify are:

  • Loss of Employment
  • Reduced Income
  • Business Failure
  • Damage to Property
  • Death of a Spouse or Wage Earner
  • Death of a non-Wage Earner [Spouse and/or dependent child or parent]
  • Severe Illness
  • Inheritance [liability]
  • Job Relocation
  • Divorce/Separation
  • Military Service
  • Debt
  • Abnormal Increase of Mortgage Payment, Insurance or Property Tax
  • Incarceration

3. You have no other major assets [income producing properties, large personal liquid assets]. Retirement funds are not typically considered as an asset unless sizeable. NOTE: If your job requires you to relocate and you have a new residence [asset], this does not disqualify an approval.

Q Do I have to be delinquent to start the Short Sale process?
No. Lenders/investors have learned [via the foreclosure process] it is more beneficial to all parties to seriously consider a Short Sale when a legitimate hardship exists. Due to the manner in which the foreclosure process is mandated by Florida law, the costs of litigation, loss of use, property neglect, vandalism, theft of property components and market depreciation, the net loss to the investor can be minimized by accepting and approving a Short Sale.

Q How long does it take to do a Short Sale?
There are several stages [tasks] to the Short Sale process which can be lengthy. The typical sale takes 2-5 months from start to finish. But, there are certain loans where an approval can be obtained within a 30 day period [HAFA]. Here are the stages of a typical Short Sale:

NOTE: Most primary lenders have adopted some version of a streamlined short sale process where the approval may be obtained inside 45 days AND an incentive [cash for keys] up to $40,000.

1. The first stage requires the home owner to gather all the documentation that your bank will require. This stage shouldn't’t t take longer than [2-5] days. Contact me so I may provide to you your bank’s required forms. I will schedule an appointment to see your home, conduct a Comparative Market Analysis, take photographs of the property, complete the listing contract and place your home on the market for sale. Listing your property for sale on the open market with a licensed agent is a mandated first step by the majority of lenders/investors. A listing history report is necessary in the Short Sale package.

2. The second stage involves aggressively marketing your home and producing a ready, willing, and able buyer as an agent would in a normal real estate listing. This stage can take as little as a few days or as long as a few months. We will closely track the activity of your listing and make the necessary pricing adjustments to attract a qualified buyer.

3. The third stage is the actual presentation of the purchase offer to your bank/investor. This is where our expertise and experience in negotiating Short Sales takes place. The negotiation and approval process can take anywhere from 30 to 120 days. Numerous phone calls, emails, and faxes are required between the lenders and our team (on average 60-90 days). If we are dealing with a single lender rather than multiple lenders, it is easier (although not necessarily faster) to obtain the approval.

4. The fourth and last stage to the Short Sale process is the period of time between Short Sale approval from the bank and the buyer closing on the property. Although the typical Short Sale Addendum states the close will occur 60 days after bank approval, be aware that the banks typically push for a 4-6 week close. When possible we encourage all parties to accommodate the bank on this item. The actual time frame from approval to close is typically determined by the manner in which the buyer is funding the transaction [cash or mortgage].

Q How do I begin a short sale?
Now that you are ready, contact me so I may identify and send to you the Short Sale package that your lender requires. Fully complete your paperwork and contact me immediately. My team will take it from there. Incomplete packages are not accepted by my team and will not be partially processed. Most lenders use an industry specific Short Sale software platform that will automatically suspend or cancel the package for incomplete documentation and/or long response times for specified lender instructions. Sellers are given [5] days to complete the short sale package and return these documents to my processing team. We do not chase sellers to complete their package and immediate action on lender requirements is a MUST.  

The short sale process is not mandated to lenders by any state or federal laws. This is a voluntary act by lenders in efforts to minimize their loss.

Q What if I don t have any money to pay the Realtor commissions?
In a Short Sale transaction, the seller does NOT have to pay Realtor commissions or the closing costs. The bank covers these costs. NOTE: Your primary lender will typically not pay for any unpaid HOA fees, 2nd mortgages, code/building violation fines or 3rd party liens.

Q Do you charge an upfront fee for taking my Short Sale?
No. Some real estate agents or companies may charge an upfront processing or retainer fee from the seller before beginning a short sale. We do not.

Q Do I have to pay my HOA fees?
Yes.
We strongly recommend that you do. HOA fees are an owner’s personal obligation. If they are not paid, it can result in credit damage, lawsuits, liens or other collection efforts. Also, Fannie Mae backed loans (as well as some other lenders) will not pay for unpaid HOA fees on a Short Sale. A few lenders will, but they are in the minority. This can inhibit the closing unless one of the parties (seller or buyer) can pay off the debt at close.

Q Are there any tax ramifications to a Short Sale?
First, any tax related questions should be directed to a tax professional. But, when you complete a Short Sale, you will receive a 1099-C which stands for Cancelation of debt. On a foreclosure you will receive a 1099 A which stands for Abandonment of secured property .The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence for their original mortgage amount. NOTE: The portion of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act Debt Act that waives the taxable income ends December 31, 2012. This provision applies to debt forgiven in calendar years 2007 through 2012. Up to $2 million of forgiven debt is eligible for this exclusion ($1 million if married filing separately). For more information: go directly to the IRS website at IRS.gov and do a keyword search of Mortgage Debt Relief Act to view their FAQ on the subject.

For Real Estate Investors: Investors need to be aware that this Act covers principal residences only.

Q Are there any credit ramifications to a Short Sale?
If you are currently paying late or in the pre-foreclosure process; the initial damage to your credit comes in the form of late payments. If you go 30+ days behind on your mortgage payment, your bank has the right to report that to all of the credit bureaus. If reported, late payments do have a direct effect on your credit. After going through a Short Sale or a Foreclosure, most people have 30, 60, and 90+ day late payments reporting on their credit report. Granted, if you are current on your mortgage, the previous does not apply.

When the actual Short Sale is completed, banks have different methods of reporting a short sale. Most will reflect that your account was paid for less than the full amount. Some lenders will reflect on your credit report account settled. We do not know how each individual lender will report it. This is simply the most common language used. If your home were to go to foreclosure, you would most often see the bank report foreclosure on your credit report.

Q Why do banks agree to a Short Sale?
Generally banks have found that it is cost effective to do a Short Sale rather than foreclose on a home. Banks are not interested in owning real estate. While banks/investors do take a loss on a Short Sale, foreclosing on a home can cost the bank 20% - 40% more in losses.

Q I am behind on my payments. How long until the bank forecloses?
It varies by state and the statutory requirements for the civil filing. Most notes (the I.O.U. that you signed when you took out the loan) give the bank the right to file a notice of default as soon as you are 30 days behind on your mortgage. While they have this right, most lenders do not file for a trustee’s sale (the legal process to foreclose) until you are 90 days or more delinquent. From the date of filing for a trustee’s sale, there is a 91 day period between filing and the actual foreclosure sale or trustee sale. Therefore it often six months or more from the first missed payment until foreclosure. We can often postpone the trustee sale if we are mid-negotiation on a Short Sale contract.

Q When should I start the Short Sale process?
The sooner… the better. Once you can no longer pay the monthly mortgage amount or see that you soon will not be able to and if you do not wish to pursue any other lender remedies (loan modification, etc.) begin immediately. The more quickly you act, the better the odds for a successful short sale.

Q I am thinking of filing bankruptcy or doing a loan modification in addition to trying to short sale my home. Is that a problem?
Yes, as either of these will halt a short sale. Loan modifications should be done before a Short Sale, especially if you wish to keep the home. Certain loans require an application and determination of a loan modification application prior to a review for a Short Sale approval. If the loan modification fails or does not resolve your ability to retain the home, then you should begin a short sale immediately thereafter.

If you are filing bankruptcy, you should receive legal counsel on whether to do that before or after completing a Short Sale. Most attorneys recommend doing the short sale prior to the bankruptcy. However, circumstances may vary. Even if you file bankruptcy, you still have not resolved the ownership issue, merely the debt. The home will still need to be sold through a Short Sale or disposed of through foreclosure. As no lender will process a Short Sale if you file for bankruptcy during the short sale process, we cannot take a short sale client who is in the midst of bankruptcy or plans to file during the Short Sale process.

Q Do all Short Sales get approved?
No. We cannot guarantee that we can close every short sale. Anyone who promises that is misleading you. Sometimes the banks will demand an unreasonable cash settlement from the borrower, have inflated ideas about market value, or will not halt a trustee’s sale. Every loan has potentially three entities that must approve the short sale: the servicer, the investor, and the mortgage insurance company. Any one of them can dictate terms.

Q Who decides how much my property will list for?

Initially, I will conduct a Comparative Market Analysis on your property. This will be the gauge for the list price. Your short sale list price will be below market value. Lenders and buyers are both aware that short sale properties sell at least 10-15% below market value. There is a need for the “carrot” so a prospective buyer can see the value of participating in this type of transaction.

Q Do I need to agree to the list price?

Yes. The initial listing contract and list price needs to be agreed to by you. Granted, the actual sale price will be determined by the lender/investor.

Q Now that we have submitted the short sale paperwork, what is next?

My processing team will handle the details of getting your approval. In the meantime, the fundamental contract process is not much different from a normal real estate transaction. The property is listed for sale and will be viewed in person by buyers and agents. It is critical to the transaction, to make sure the property is ready to show within a 1 hour notice. If there are showing restrictions, let’s discuss how to work thru this so it does not interfere with the opportunity for a successful purchase contract.

From time to time, some home owners have no sincere desire to obtain an approval and attempt to use the Short Sale process to postpone a foreclosure action or auction. If this presents itself, I will inform the lender of these acts and the listing and short sale agreements will be terminated.

Q Do I need to agree to the terms of the sale for the transaction to go forward?

Yes. My team negotiates the terms of the transaction on your behalf, but the terms of the transaction are inevitably set by the lender/investor. But, for the transaction to go forward to close, you and the buyer will need to agree to the lender’s terms.

Q If I don’t agree with the terms, can I cancel the process?

Yes. If the terms of the transaction are such that you or the buyer is not comfortable, the Short Sale and listing can be canceled.

Q Will I owe your team anything for your services if my short sale is not approved?

No. We are industry professionals that understand not all short sales are approved and are prepared to absorb that cost.

Q Can the lender pursue me for the amount forgiven?
Without a Deficiency Waiver, there is the possibility the bank will pursue a deficiency. My processing team includes a request for a Deficiency Waiver in all short sale applications. Once this waiver is issued, the lender/investor cannot pursue a deficiency nor can a 3rd party collector.

Be aware that most Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) are not just secured to your home; they are also personally backed by you. What this means is that foreclosure will not eliminate this debt.

It is our belief that home owners will be dealing with their HELOC lender either before foreclosure (a short sale) or after (foreclosure) and that in most cases they are better served to negotiate a settlement with them through a short sale. However, we are not attorneys nor is it our intention to provide legal advice. Please consult a qualified attorney to discuss the path best for you prior to beginning a short sale.

Q Can the lender ask me to sign a note or pay cash to settle the debt?
Yes. They can ask, but asking does not compel you to agree.

Q Can I sell my home to a relative?
Probably not. Most lenders will ask all parties to sign an Affidavit of Arm s Length Transaction. This generally states that the parties cannot be a family member, business associate, or share a business interest.

Q I haven’t filed taxes for last year. Can I still do a Short Sale?
Yes. Understand that the more missing pieces, the tougher the approval process. But we have included waivers for any documentation that is unavailable. We will submit the waiver in place of the required paperwork. This should not be used as a substitute however, for any available documentation. The more fully we provide documentation, the quicker the process and the greater the likelihood that the short sale will be approved.

Q What are the most common mistakes on a Short Sale?
Waiting too long to start the process, failing to obtain legal counsel when needed, not supplying us with a complete package, and filing bankruptcy or electing to loan modify in the middle of a short sale.

Q Once the approval is granted, how long will it take to complete the transaction?

Once the approval is issued, the process is the same as a standard real estate sale. The time to close will be determined by the means of funding. Most cash transactions are completed within a 3 week period. For a mortgage funded transaction, this can take up to 45 days depending on the type of loan the buyer is obtaining.

David Manley, P.A.
Realtor, CDPE

(954) 531-2236 (Direct Line)

RE/MAX In Motion
939 N University Dr
Coral Springs, FL 33071
954.531.2236
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