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New Programs Help Homeowner’s Avoid Foreclosure

Friday, May 15, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow

On Thursday, the government announced two programs that may help thousands of homeowners that are sinking in debt avoid foreclosure.

Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, said “Today we are announcing a new program component to help homeowners obtain modifications in areas suffering from price declines.  If a modification is not possible, we are announcing steps to encourage the quick private sale or voluntary transfer of property, which will save homeowners money and protect their financial future.”  Geithner went on to say that, “These are critical steps in stemming the foreclosure crisis and stabilizing the housing market, both of which are critical to your economic recovery”

The Program in a Nutshell:

  1. Foreclosure Alternatives:  The program increases the odds of closing a short sale by streamlining the process and offering incentives to lenders for participation.  The program is designed for homeowners who are eligible for a loan modification, but can not qualify for one.  Under the new program, lenders may receive compensation up to $1000 for completing a short sale.  Borrower’s may receive up to $1500 for relocation expenses.  Holders of 2nd mortgages will receive up to $1000, if they agree to the terms of a short sale.

Why This New Program May Help:

  1. A short sale is the last step before foreclosure, and is far less costly for lenders and borrowers.   Selling short is less damaging to the homeowners credit and they are less costly for banks and lenders.   Survey results show that losses from short sales average 19 percent versus losses of 40 percent in the case of foreclosure.
  2. Currently, more than 75 percent of short sale contracts fall apart, despite sometimes heroic efforts on the part of the borrower.  Lenders have for the most part been uncooperative when responding to offers on short sales, which means the properties sit vacant and pull down values in the entire area.
  3. The new program may provide a much needed boost to the current Making a Home Affordable program.  Despite good intentions, the program has only helped 55,000 homeowner’s modify their loans.   In comparison, there were 342,000 foreclosure filings in the month of April, alone.

  Stop The Sinking Feeling.   If you are struggling to pay your mortgage or you are falling behind on your payments…CALL YOUR LENDER TODAY!!   Don’t procrastinate, the problem will only become larger if you wait.   You may also waste valuable time in stopping a foreclosure on your property, which is the worst case scenario for borrower and lender alike.

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