Seen on CR, this summary on Bloomberg discusses the recent developments with short sales, DILs, and loan modifications. 

The article’s ending:

Short sales benefit a neighborhood because they clear out stagnant properties that may have an adverse effect on values, said Sean Shallis, a senior real estate strategist (ed. note: he’s a realtor) with Weichert Realtors in Hoboken, New Jersey. Shallis has one home with bank approval for a short sale and three others waiting approval on the same street in Jersey City with views of the Manhattan skyline.

“In every case we had multiple offers from people who had plenty of money to put down,” Shallis said. “Americans are out there still buying homes and trying to move it along.”

Short sales also help the bank, because foreclosed properties lose more value when they are vacant or a homeowner vandalizes a house on the way out, Sunlin said.

“We typically expect a 10 to 15 percent decrease of loss severity with a short sale,” Sunlin said.

Losses on prime loans going through the foreclosure process averaged 49 percent versus 34 percent for a short sale as of Oct. 1, according to a Nov. 10 report by Laurie S. Goodman, senior managing director of Amherst Securities Group LP. For subprime loans, losses averaged 73 percent for a foreclosure compared with 59 percent for a short sale.

“The loss severity of short sales is lower but it’s not low,” Goodman said.

For a borrower’s credit history, a short sale is typically reported as “settled” and considered as severe as a foreclosure, said Maxine Sweet, vice president of public education for Experian PLC, the world’s largest credit-reporting company. The impact of a short sale on a credit score is similar to that of a foreclosure. It may drop a credit score of 780 to 620, according to Minneapolis-based FICO Corp.

For sellers like Drew Schlosser, who bought 10 properties in Florida as investments during the housing bubble, getting a short sale was a relief even if the process was difficult.

Schlosser said he had to provide Wells Fargo a hardship letter, demonstrating that his financial situation merited a short sale. He also had to provide pay stubs, bank account information and past tax returns. To avoid fraud, the bank also required evidence that the transaction was an arms-length sale and not to one of his relatives, he said.

“They don’t agree to do it because you’re upside down,” Schlosser said. “If they think you can pay for it they’re not going to let you out of it.”

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The article also has a link to the government’s assistance package, which includes $1,500 moving incentive to the borrower, $1,000 to the servicer, and $1,000 to the lender for every short sale or deed-in-lieu processed successfully.

The most shocking requirement? The government is hoping to get borrowers off the hook:

With either the HAFA short sale or DIL, the servicer may not require a cash contribution or promissory note from the borrower and must forfeit the ability to pursue a deficiency judgment against the borrower.

Will lenders/servicers agree to forfeit deficiency judgements for a measy $1,000 per loan?

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Jim the Realtor
Jim is a long-time local realtor who comments daily here on his blog, bubbleinfo.com which began in September, 2005. Stick around!

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