WASHINGTON – April 5, 2010 – Effective today, the short sale process is simplified. The only problem: Many lenders don’t know it, and Realtors may have to convince them.

The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program gives $3,000 to borrowers for relocation assistance, $1,500 to servicers for administrative and processing costs, and up to $2,000 to investors who allow up to $6,000 in short sale proceeds to be distributed to subordinate lien holders. The program was created to help stabilize distressed inventory such as underwater homes.

Some lenders have already adopted HAFA rules, but April 5 was the deadline for participating servicers to implement HAFA. The program reportedly covers servicers handling more than 90 percent of all mortgages.

However, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says that it’s already hearing complaints from members. Many servicers say they haven’t even heard about the program, Realtors claim, so it’s clear that they won’t “hit the ground running.”

NAR says it will carefully monitor HAFA implementation and report delays and other program problems to the Treasury Department. However, “patience will be needed.” Realtors can negotiate faster short sales by urging lenders to comply with the new procedures and deadlines.

NAR offers a webpage with information on how HAFA works at: www.realtor.org/shortsales.

NAR also offers other short-sale info (including links to a 45 minute Webinar and a 15 minute video on a separate webpage: http://www.realtor.org/realtors/basics_short_sales?wt.mc_id=rd0041.  

NAR also produced a four-page HAFA informational brochure.

U.S. Treasury Department guidelines and forms (updated March 26, 2010):
https://www.hmpadmin.com/portal/programs/foreclosure_alternatives.html.

© 2010 Florida Realtors®