If you don't qualify for a loan modification, there is a good chance you qualify for a short sale. A short sale is a sale of real estate in which the sale proceeds fall short of the balance owed on the property's loan. It often occurs when a borrower cannot pay the mortgage loan on their property, but the lender decides that selling the property at a moderate loss is better than pressing the borrower. Both parties consent to the short sale process, because it allows them to avoid foreclosure, which involves hefty fees for the bank and poorer credit report outcomes for the borrowers. There are also many government sponsored short sale programs. The newest and largest being HAFA.
Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)
HAFA is a program primarily designed for homeowners who are unable to stay in their home even with a loan modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Under HAFA, homeowners may be able to avoid a foreclosure by selling the home as a “short sale” (where the value of the home is less than the remaining amount of the mortgage) or by transferring title to the lender through a process called a “deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.”
1. Complements HAMP by providing a viable alternative for borrowers (the current homeowners) who are HAMP eligible but nevertheless unable to keep their home.
Uses borrower financial and hardship information already collected under HAMP.
Allows borrowers to receive pre-approved short sales terms before listing the property (including the minimum acceptable net proceeds and acceptable closing costs).
Requires borrowers to be fully released from future liability for the first mortgage debt and, if the subordinate lien holders receive an incentive under HAFA, those debts as well (no cash contribution, promissory note, or deficiency judgment is allowed).
Uses a standard process, uniform documents, and deadlines.
Provides financial incentives: $3,000 for borrower relocation assistance; $1,500 for mortgage servicers to cover administrative and processing costs; and up to a $2,000 match for mortgage investors for allowing a total of up to $6,000 in short sale proceeds to be distributed to subordinate lien holders (up to 6 percent of the remaining balance of each junior lien).
Requires all servicers participating in HAMP to implement HAFA in accordance with their own written policy, consistent with investor guidelines. The policy may include factors such as the severity of the potential loss, local markets, timing of pending foreclosure actions, and borrower motivation and cooperation.