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Short Sale VS Foreclosure VS Deed-In-Lieu of Foreclosure; which of these is the best choice for a homeowner in distress

The foreclosure process can be very stressful for homeowners; some home homeowners get so depressed, that they do nothing, some 57% of homes get foreclosed on and the owner never called their lender to work out a loan mod or ask for help!. While others who are proactive sometimes end up being given the wrong advice or make decisions that are not well informed. If you are a homeowner dealing with this situation, you will have to make a decision on whether to get your property sold as a Short Sale usually at the discount approved by your lender, or give the property back to them as a Deed-In-Lieu of Foreclosure or just let them complete the Foreclosure. You need to decide which of these three options is the best for you both in the short and long term? Deciding which option to take might be tough especially if you do not know how each will affect your credit and ability to buy a home in the future.

Short Sale VS Foreclosure VS Deed-In-Lieu of Foreclosure
A short sale transaction occurs when a lender agrees to a discounted payoff on the loan balance, due to the financial hardship experienced by the homeowner and/or a decrease in the resale value of the property. A short sale is the best option if you are facing foreclosure because it is a lesser financial loss. You get to avoid foreclosure, reduce the adverse effects on your credit and increase your chances of getting a loan to buy a home within a shorter period of time.

Foreclosure occurs when a lender sells or gets back a parcel of real property, after the owner failed to conform to their mortgage or deed of trust agreements. The estate becomes the absolute property of the lender. The foreclosure process generally starts with a formal demand for payment in the form of a letter called Notice of Default (NOD) issued from the lender. It varies from state to state but in most cases the lender usually issues this notice when the homeowner has been 3 months irregular on their mortgage payments. The notice is typically a warning that they will sell your property if you do not make your payments current.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure is the alternative to a foreclosure. This is a settlement, which is voluntarily made, and in good faith in which the borrower surrenders their house to the lender and moves on with nothing owed. The main advantage for the borrower is that it immediately releases them from the debt associated with the defaulted loan. The borrower also avoids a painful and time consuming foreclosure. The main advantage for the lender is a reduction in the time and cost of repossessing the property. In most cases a lender will only accept a deed in lieu if there are no other liens attached to the property or these liens can be significantly reduced. The reason is because they do not want to be responsible for the other liens that are attached to the property; this is why most lenders will push for a foreclosure instead because it removes all junior liens.

How does each of the three options affect your credit and the length of time it will take to buy another home?

Short Sale: This the best option for a homeowner facing foreclosure due to its reduced adverse effects on their credit and their ability to get a loan to buy another home in a shorter period of time.
Short sale credit reporting options are:
• Paid Settlement – In which, credit score will drop 50-150 points or more depending on the number of missed payments.
• Paid, As Agreed – in which, won’t hurt the score at all as long as the borrower is paying regularly.
• Unrated – In which, may drop a few points.

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac guidelines states that the waiting period before you can buy a new home is 2 years from the date the proceeding is completed. And there is no exception for extenuating circumstances.

Foreclosure: This is the least advantageous of all of the three options; it will remain in the credit report for 7 years from completion date and the credit score will drop from 50-250 points. Another disadvantage is that when Deficiency Judgment or Tax Lien is filed the credit score may drop an additional 100 points.
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac current guidelines state that the waiting period is 5 years from the date of foreclosure completion proceedings.
Below are requirements in addition to the 5 years up to 7 years after completion date:
• Purchase of a primary or principal residence is permitted, 10% minimum down payment and the minimum credit score is 680.
• Purchase of a second home or property investment is not permitted.
• No cash-out refinance is permitted.

Extenuating circumstances are acceptable such as loss of employment and severe medical crisis and if approved the waiting period is 3 years from the date of foreclosure completion proceeding. The same additional requirements are applied as above except the minimum credit score of 680 is not required.
FHA Guidelines state that the waiting period for a foreclosure is 3 years from the foreclosure completion proceedings. However if foreclosure is a result of extenuating circumstances such as serious illness or death the lender may grant an exception.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure: Credit scores will carry the same serious effects as Foreclosure because most lenders report a deed in lieu of foreclosure as foreclosure. However the reality is that what is reported can actually be negotiate with the lender. It will remain on the credit report for 7 years from settlement completion.
Deed in Lieu credit reporting options:
• Paid Settlement – In which credit scores can drop up to 150 points
• Paid as Agreed- Credit scores show a dropped over 100 points due to default in payment but with this option borrower could purchase a home in a short period of time.
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac guideline state that the waiting period for a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure is 4 years from the date of completion proceedings.
Additional requirements after 4 years up to 7 years from completion date:
• Greater than 10% minimum down payment required for the transaction or purchase of investment property, principal residence or a second home by a borrower.
• There is a limited-cash-out and cash-out refinance are permitted if eligible and meet the requirements.
• Extenuating circumstances, physical condition such as medical crisis or other factors such as loss of employment that caused a borrower to choose the option Deed In Lieu of Foreclosure, the waiting period is 2 years from the completion proceedings.

In summary, the guidelines stated above clearly show the advantages for you to choose to short sale your property compared to allowing it to go into foreclosure or deed in lieu because the adverse effects to your credit is reduced and also, you will just have to wait 2 years to get a loan to buy another home instead of 4 years with the deed in lieu option or 5 years with the foreclosure.

If you have additional questions please feel free to email or call me.

Condo for sale St. Petersburg, The Grande Verandahs on the Bay, Gandy Blvd

Condo for sale in North East St. Petersburg at 12033 Gandy Blvd #153, St. Petersburg FL 33702.

The Grande Verandahs on the Bay luxury waterfront condominium community on Gandy Blvd. features a fully gated community with controlled entry gates & 2 under building parking spaces right by the lobby. Beautiful 5th floor unit with a split floor plan, huge master suite, with both a soaking tub and large walk-in shower, tray ceilings in the entry and kitchen, huge kitchen featuring granite counter tops, black on black appliances & a walk-in pantry, large inside laundry with additional storage. Panoramic views across the 80 plus acre protected preserve & Old Tampa Bay, you can see water from every window! Owner paid $514k plus in 05 & lived in this unit for 8 months, this is NOT a short sale! The community has a pool/spa and a state of art exercise center in the clubhouse surrounded by lush tropical landscaping. Minutes from Downtown Tampa, Clearwater and St Petersburg HOT Downtown nightlife, restaurants, shops and so much more

To view this home call David Price with Coldwell Banker at 727-851-6189 anytime.

Foreclosure filings fall 8% in November

WASHINGTON (AP) – Dec. 10, 2009 – The number of homeowners on the brink of foreclosure fell in November, the fourth straight monthly decline, as mortgage companies evaluated whether borrowers were eligible for help.

Nearly 307,000 households, or one in every 417 homes, received a foreclosure-related notice in November, down 8 percent from a month earlier, RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday. Banks repossessed about 77,000 homes last month, down slightly from October.

Millions of borrowers are still being evaluated for the Obama administration’s foreclosure prevention effort. States are also trying to delay the foreclosure process, temporarily lowering foreclosure numbers.

But the foreclosure crisis is likely to get worse before it gets better.

“We don’t really believe the underlying problems have been resolved,” said Rick Sharga, senior vice president at the Irvine, Calif.-based foreclosure listing service. Many borrowers, he said, “simply aren’t going to qualify” for help.

Foreclosure filings were still up 18 percent from a year ago, and a new wave is expected next year as unemployment remains high and borrowers fall out of loan modification programs.

Nevada posted the nation’s highest foreclosure rate, followed by Florida, California, Arizona and Idaho. Rounding out the top 10 were Michigan, Illinois, Utah, Maryland and New Jersey.

Among cities, Merced, Calif. had the highest rate, with one in 83 homes receiving a foreclosure filing. It was followed by fellow California cities Stockton and Modesto, and Cape-Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.

Las Vegas, which had been No. 1 on that list for four-straight months, fell to No. 5. Nevada recently adopted a program that requires mediation before banks can seize a property.

Nationwide, a report Wednesday showed only about 10,000 homeowners received permanent loan modifications this fall under the Obama administration’s mortgage relief plan, more evidence of serious failings in the government’s effort.

Elizabeth Warren, chair of a watchdog panel, told reporters that the program is “not working” and that it had failed to make a dent in the record level of foreclosures. More than 14 percent of homeowners with a mortgage are either late on their payments or in foreclosure, and that number is expected to keep rising as unemployment remains stubbornly high.

The Treasury Department is expected to release updated figures Thursday, but data through October showed that fewer than 5 percent of homeowners who completed the trial periods had their mortgage payments permanently lowered to more affordable levels.

Under the program, eligible borrowers who are behind or at risk of default can have their mortgage interest rate reduced to as low as 2 percent for five years. They are given temporary modifications, which are supposed to become permanent after borrowers make three payments on time and complete the required paperwork, including proof of income and a hardship letter.

Short Sale process overview

This video is my personal experience of selling homes that need to go through the short sale process. Some banks have made the process easy while others have (bank of America) are making this so hard. I’ve tried to give you an overview of what I’ve see and what my clients have experienced over the past 2 years. If you have any additional questions about the process or maybe you need help selling your home call or email me. visit me at

Banks express hope for fed short-sale effort

WASHINGTON – Aug. 7, 2009 – The federal government is launching a program to simplify and speed up the short-sale process (about time) by providing standardized documentation, cash incentives to lenders, and a $1,500 moving allowance to borrowers. Holders of second liens will get up to $1,000 to relinquish their claims.

Banks say the short-sale process has been taking so long because both their employees and real estate practitioners are learning as they go. (you would think that after 2 full years of learning the banks would know what they are doing!!! I’ve have been working short sales for 2 years, it only took me 1 deal to know what needed to be done)

David Sunlin, vice president in charge of short sales at Bank of America, says he hopes the new government plan will help. “About half of short sales never close. We see it as a big lost opportunity, and we need to improve the rate we close them,” he says. (This is great, I wonder when BofA is going to put more staff on the job to improve this process, I was on hold at BofA for 40 minutes today and had to listen to “Press 5 to leave a message for a return call in 5 business days” In the end I gave up and sent a fax, who knows if I’ll hear back from them)

Wells Fargo says it has cut its short sale average turnaround time from 90 days to 30 days by preparing a guide from real estate practitioners and putting in place procedures to handle short-sale requests.

The federal government first announced its short sales initiative in May at the annual Washington meetings of the National Association of Realtors®.

There is a pilot program that has been running in Orlando for the past 3 months, they have been able to shorten the short sale process to 7 days! I don’t know why this program can’t be implemented by all banks. My only guess is waiting until it gets so bad that the Fed have to step in and pay the banks to fix the issue. Boy wouldn’t you like to own a bank…

I know with the 20+ short sale deals I’ve done in the past 2 years I could have generated more cash for the bank if they would have been able to approve the sale within 30-45 days. But because of the 3-5 months of waiting the buyers walked and we had to lower the price to find another buyer…

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