Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Short Sale Rule Changes Could Help Fountain Hills Home Sellers!

While home values have been improving in Fountain Hills and the greater Phoenix-Scottsdale area, prices remain below the peaks reached in 2006. Homeowners who made purchases during the height of the housing boom have been struggling with negative equity. Add in a personal hardship, and it becomes a recipe for foreclosure. 

Fortunately, there is help on the horizon! The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced new short sale guidelines effective November 1, 2012, for mortgages held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These government-sponsored agencies back more than half of all residential mortgages in the United States, and their short sale improvements could have a wide effect on the housing market. 

Here are some highlights of the new short sale program:

Homeowners who are current on their mortgage can be eligible for a short sale, if they have a qualifying hardship. Hardship categories include job loss, death of borrower or co-borrower, divorce, disability, or job relocation exceeding a distance of 50 miles from the home.

Mortgage servicers who work on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be empowered to directly expedite qualifying short sales. 

Documentation requirements for homeowners “most in need”, who are behind on mortgage payments and have qualifying hardships, are significantly reduced. 

Homeowners who have sufficient assets will be asked to make a financial contribution to the short sale. In return, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will not pursue a deficiency judgment for the difference between the sale proceeds and the outstanding mortgage balance. This clause seems to address the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007, which is scheduled to expire at the end of the year.

Overall, the changes in the short sale process should reduce new foreclosures and further stabilize home prices. This is good news for all Arizona homeowners! Median home values in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area have improved about 28% from a year ago, thanks in part to a reduced inventory of homes for sale

If you are thinking of selling your Fountain Hills home, contact me for the best in local expertise and market guidance! With over 30 years of experience in Fountain Hills real estate, I have helped home sellers succeed throughout all market conditions. 

When you have questions about the Fountain Hills real estate market, feel welcome to call me! I will be happy to help you! 

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