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How To Qualify For HAFA Short Sale

How To Qualify For HAFA Short Sale

Twenty years ago after the Oil Bust in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when a homeowner could not sell his home for enough money to pay the bank off and pay all the expenses from the proceeds of the sale, the homeowner took his checkbook to the bank and wrote a check at closing in order to get rid of his house.  Often the seller wrote a bigger check at closing than the buyer.

Things have changed.  Many homeowners lack the ability to cover the equity shortfall in their home.  They cannot write a check at closing to get the bank paid off and get on down the road.

To help homeowners in hardship situations, many homeowners are resorting to listing their homes with REALTORS® who understand how to do short sales.

It is a complicated process and it is not fast, nor are there any guarantees.

I have successfully represented both Buyers and Sellers through the short sale process.

The following is a description of how a homeowner qualifies for a HAFA Short Sale — a particular subset of the short sale family of transactions.

If you have questions, please call me at 918-712-4473 or send me an email at dsolano@cbtulsa.com

How To Qualify For HAFA Short Sale

First let’s start by defining exactly what HAFA is:

The government’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternativesprogram, or HAFA as it is commonly known may provide you with some relief.  There are some hoops to jump through but working with an agent that understands the details and the process will ensure that you have an optimal chance for success.  (There are 43 pages of guidelines associated with this program so please choose your real estate agent wisely!)  Click Here For: HAFA Information Center

The three main benefits to you, the homeowner, are: (With respect to a Short Sale)

1. A formal timeframe to market and sell your home during which a foreclosure sale cannot occur. This, in my mind, is the main benefit.  It will take much of the uncertainty and fear of foreclosure away from homeowners that are financially distressed and make it very probable that they are able to remain in their home longer than they otherwise would be able to.

2. A monetary incentive to assist you with relocation expenses.  Although this is small, originally set at $1,500.00, it will help with the cost of relocating. It is presently set at $3.000.00.

3. Releases you from any future liability on the debt. This benefit has the most long-term benefit.  It eliminates the lender/servicers ability to secure a deficiency judgment or promissary note on the loss.

HAFA is an alternative to the Home Affordable Modification Program (otherwise known as HAMP).  To be eligible for HAFA the following criteria must initially be met:

1. Your lender/servicer must be participating in HAMP & HAFA:  This can easily be established.  You can look up whether your lender/servicer is participating in the government programs by following this link: Lenders Participating In HAFA

2. You must be HAMP eligible: What does this mean?  It is fairly simple.  All of the following must be true:
A) The home must be your primary residence.
B) Your mortgage must have been originated prior to January 1, 2009.
C) Amount owed on your 1st mortgage must be equal to or less than $729,750 (For a one-unit property).
D) Your current monthly mortgage payment exceeds 31% if your gross income.

AND ONE OF THE FOLLOWING MUST APPLY TO YOU:  (Your lender/servicer is required to consider you for HAFA if the two stipulations above and one of the stipulations below are met)

1. You do not qualify for a trial period plan:   This is a bit trickier.  Participating lenders/servicers have to analyze your further eligibility.  The goal of HAMP is to provide a borrower with a loan payment (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance, and HOA) of 31% of their gross income. This is the part that everyone knows about and it sounds pretty good (for most people)!  Unfortunately the lender has an out.  The bank is required to perform a Net Present Value Test (NPV Test) on each potential HAMP candidate.  The long and the short of the NPV Test is this:  If the bank will make more money by foreclosing than they will by modifying your loan (payment to 31% of gross income) then the bank is not required to offer you the loan modification.  This is where many potential loan modifications via HAMP are stopped.  Quite simply the modifications the bank would have to make (rate reduction, term extension, and principal forbearance) would make it more cost effective to foreclose.  Please feel free to contact me regarding how the NPV Test is performed and what the components of it are.

2. You do not successfully complete a Trial Period Plan: This is fairly straight-forward.  If you are offered a HAMP Trial Period Plan and reject it;  you do not provide the correct & complete documentation required to participate in the plan offered; you do not make all payments during the course of the Trial Period Plan.

3. You miss at least two consecutive payments during a HAMP modification:  Many people are unclear regarding this item.  If you have completed the Trial Period Plan and entered in to the final loan modification stage of HAMP but you miss two consecutive payments on the modified loan then you are HAFA eligible.

4. You request a Short Sale:  You have determined that you must move and you meet the first two criteria mentioned (Lender is participating in HAMP/HAFA, and you are HAMP eligible).

Although the HAFA process can be complex it may provide benefits to you that were not available previously.  To participate in HAFA you must utilize a licensed real estate agent.  For your own benefit make sure that you select an experienced short sale agent/negotiator.  Please contact me directly at (949)218-0952 if you need to consider a short sale.