AVP/Sr Mortgage Originator
Alaska USA Mortgage AK#157293
Phone: (907)261-3458 Cell: 223-4440
License: NMLS Unique Identifier #203077
The Short Sale
A Viable Alternative to Foreclosure
Economic experts have said that the real estate market is not a major factor in the Federal Reserve's true goal of keeping inflation in check – and its recent activity seems to bear this out. By strategically infusing billions of dollars into the banking system and unexpectedly cutting its discount window rate for 30 days, the Fed has clearly attempted to "bail out" the financial and credit markets. The real estate market, however, continues to suffer nearly double the number of foreclosures as it did this time a year ago – one in every 693 US households. In some states, the statistics are even worse, with foreclosures claiming one in every 199 households!
Because of this, YOU Magazine will ignore the media hype surrounding the Fed's financial policies and focus our attention this month on an interesting process known as a short sale. As a realistic "last" alternative to foreclosure, and a great opportunity for potential homebuyers and real estate investors, the short sale will continue to become more and more prevalent as millions of ARMs reset (see YOU Magazine's August issue) over the next 2 to 18 months and trigger newer and bigger waves of foreclosures.
If you or someone you know has an ARM that is scheduled to adjust in 2007 or 2008, please schedule an appointment with a mortgage specialist right away. Don't let a foreclosure or default situation sneak up on you. Remember, even if the Federal Reserve does lower its Fed Funds Rate later this month (which does seem likely), the majority of these ARMs borrowers will not be positively affected or "saved" by this move. For many borrowers, a short sale or a foreclosure will be the only available option.
What is a Short Sale?
Short Sale Requirements
Remember, lenders are not looking to bail out borrowers who simply overextended themselves during the recent real estate boom. In most cases, a lender will only consider a short sale if a borrower has clearly suffered a serious financial hardship that directly caused him or her to default on the mortgage. This means the loss of a job, a serious illness, or the death of a loved one – something devastating and "unforeseen" that can justify such a state of financial disrepair. If you're a "flipper" with 2 or 3 homes that you weren't able to unload before the market turned, or if you have other assets or income that could easily cover your mortgage debt, it's not likely that a lender will accept a short sale proposal.
A written declaration and supporting documentation demonstrating financial hardship and an inability to make payments will definitely be required by the lender in order to even consider a short sale. This may include pay stubs, tax returns, and liquid asset statements – including those for retirement accounts – among other documentation. In addition, the borrower must be at least 91-days delinquent before a lender will even discuss a short sale.
In some cases, the lender's hands may be tied, depending on how the borrower's loan was sold into the open market through mortgage-backed securities. If the mortgage in question was not sold by the lender, but rather retained in its own portfolio, the lender may have more flexibility. However, don't expect a lot of help from the lender without first providing a sales contract from a qualified buyer and all the information required by the lender's loss mitigation department. This is where an experienced real estate professional becomes invaluable to your cause. A good real estate agent has not only successfully negotiated short sales in the past, he or she will also have access to qualified investors who are well-versed in the substantial risk and reward involved in this extremely complex and often drawn out process.
Important Additional Considerations:
In other words, be proactive. If you have an ARM that is scheduled to reset in the near future, or if you're facing foreclosure because of unexpected life events, don't wait until a short sale is your last viable option – and don't count on the Fed to "bail out" the real estate market any time soon.
Contact the professional who provides you with your subscription to YOU Magazine and get the latest information you need. A short sale may represent your best opportunity to avoid foreclosure or to get a great deal on your next home or investment property.
License AK# 157293 Washington Consumer Loan Company license# CL-157293 California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, License# 4131067
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