Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bank of America (BOA) $2,500-$30,000 in Relocation Assistance

Short Sale Agent Update

Limited Time Offer

May 15, 2012

Short Sale Relocation Assistance Program: Your clients could receive
$2,500 to $30,000 in relocation assistance

Your financially distressed clients want to avoid foreclosure. You want to help them. So do we!
That's why Bank of America is excited to announce that for a limited time, we are offering enhanced relocation assistance payments in which qualified homeowners who initiate a short sale without an offer could be eligible to receive $2,500 - $30,000* in relocation assistance and owe no more on their mortgage with the sale of their property. 
Don't miss this limited-time offer to get your distressed clients the help they need by initiating a preapproved price short sale today at agent.equator.com.  
Determining your clients' eligibility is easy:
  • Once you initiate the short sale at agent.equator.com we'll evaluate the homeowner for this offer quickly to determine if they qualify for the enhanced relocation assistance.
  • The homeowner must participate in one of the preapproved price short sale programs, such as HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives) or Bank of America's proprietary program. Specific investor participation and eligibility criteria do apply to these programs.
Have an active preapproved price short sale? Don't worry.
Bank of America is reviewing all current, in-process preapproved price short sale agreements to determine who is eligible for this limited-time offer.  Eligible homeowners actively participating in a preapproved price short sale program (such as HAFA or Bank of America's proprietary program) will receive a letter if they qualify for the additional relocation assistance.  The relocation assistance will be paid at closing.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How can I find out if my client qualifies for this limited time offer?
A: Call a Bank of America short sale specialist at 1.866.880.1232 Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Eastern.

Q: Do I have to do anything special when initiating or completing the short sale?
A: No. But act quickly by initiating the short sale at agent.equator.com.  This is a limited-time offer that your clients won't want to miss out on.

Q: If a short sale is initiated with an offer, will it qualify for this relocation assistance?
A: No. This relocation assistance is only available on preapproved price short sale programs.  Short sales initiated at the time an offer is received do not qualify for the enhanced relocation assistance funds.

Q: Will the relocation assistance funds be reported on the HUD-1?
A: Yes, funds received at closing will be documented on the HUD-1, and a 1099-MISC will be issued.

Q: Can the relocation assistance funds be used to pay off existing liens?
A: Yes, the homeowner may use funds to pay off existing liens or to help with relocation expenses.

Q: Is the relocation assistance added to any other incentives, such as the HAFA or Bank of America proprietary program incentives?
A: The homeowner incentive will be inclusive of the $3,000 HAFA incentive.  For example, if the homeowner is eligible for a $5,000 homeowner incentive, $3,000 will be from the HAFA incentive, and $2,000 will be from the homeowner incentive.

Q: Is the enhanced relocation assistance available for other programs?
A: Currently, the enhanced relocation assistance is only available to short sale programs initiated without an offer. However, as we gauge the success we may extend this incentive to other programs.

Homeowners and agents may call 1.866.880.1232 to speak to a Bank of America short sale specialist about this exciting limited-time preapproved price short sale program offering.

*The relocation assistance payment is calculated based on the appraised value of the homeowner's property. The total amount will be no less than $2,500, but no more than $30,000. The payment will be delivered at the time of closing if the homeowner complies with all terms and conditions of the Short Sale Agreement, which includes but are not limited to the following: a full walk-through appraisal must be completed and the homeowner must satisfy all junior liens and provide clear title for the property (the relocation assistance payment can be used to clear those liens). The short sale must close by September 26, 2013.  If the homeowner does not comply with all terms and conditions of the Short Sale Agreement, they will not receive the relocation assistance payment. The amount of any deficiency and relocation assistance will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the appropriate 1099 Form or Forms. We suggest that the homeowner contact the IRS or their tax preparer to determine if they have any tax liability

John Ripple CDPE, SFR
(410) 937-5650

Baltimore Maryland Short Sale, Modifications, Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

It is understandable to have questions when coping with a new and challenging situation, especially when a home is at stake. The reality is that millions of homeowners across the country are finding out that they have more questions than answers. We hope that the following information will help you better understand the circumstances. If you have further questions not addressed below, or would like additional information resources, feel free to Contact Us.

Do I qualify for a short sale?

The qualifications for a short sale include any or all of the following:
  1. Financial Hardship – There is a situation causing you to have trouble affording your mortgage.
  2. Monthly Income Shortfall – In other words: “You have more month than money.” A lender will want to see that you cannot afford, or soon will not be able to afford your mortgage.
  3. Insolvency – The lender will want to see that you do not have significant liquid assets that would allow you to pay down your mortgage.

What is a mortgage modification?

A mortgage modification is a process through which your mortgage lender changes any or all of the following:
  • Your interest rate
  • Your principal balance (through a reduction)
  • Your loan terms (example: from an adjustable to a fixed rate)
This process can allow borrowers to stay in their property when they can no longer afford their current mortgage payments.

Why would a lender modify my mortgage?

Lenders have realized that in some cases it is better for them to work with current borrowers to lower payments or possibly improve terms in order to keep homeowners in their properties. The average foreclosure can cost a lender from 35-50% of the value of a property, so keeping borrowers in their homes is a good option for everyone.

What do I need to qualify for a mortgage modification?

According to the Making Home Affordable Web site (www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov), you will need the following information for your lender to consider a modification:
  • Information about your first mortgage, such as your monthly mortgage statement
  • Information about any second mortgage or home equity line of credit on the house
  • Account balances and minimum monthly payments due on all of your credit cards
  • Account balances and monthly payments on all your other debts such as student loans and car loans
  • Your most recent income tax return
  • Information about your savings and other assets
  • Information about the monthly gross (before tax) income of your household, including recent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you receive from other sources
If applicable, it may also be helpful to have a letter describing any circumstances that caused your income to reduce or expenses to increase (job loss, divorce, illness, etc.)

How do I qualify for a mortgage modification?

The first call you make should be to your lender, have the information above ready to discuss with them and call your customer service line to ask them what options you have available. If the person you speak with does not understand what you are asking, you can ask to be referred to one of the following departments (different lenders have different names for these departments):
  • Loss Mitigation
  • Mortgage Modification
  • H.O.P.E.
Prior to contacting your mortgage lender you can quickly complete an eligibility test atwww.MakingHomeAffordable.gov. This test will let you know if you are eligible for a modification through the government-sponsored Home Affordability and Stability Program (HASP). For a list of mortgage lenders and servicers, visit www.HopeNow.com.

What if I don’t qualify for a mortgage modification, can’t afford my home, and owe more than it’s worth?

You are not alone and foreclosure is not the only option. If your mortgage lender or servicer will not work with you to reduce your payment, you may want to consider a short sale. Agents like me, with the Certified Distressed Property Expert® Designation, have undergone extensive training in how to process and negotiate short sales. A short sale allows you to sell your home for less than what you owe and avoid foreclosure. Speak to your market expert to see if you may qualify.

What is a Home Affordable Refinance?

If Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owns your mortgage, you may be eligible for a Home Affordable Refinance. This will allow you to refinance your home and often lower your payments.

What are the qualifications for a Home Affordable Refinance?

According to the resources released by the government, following are a list of qualifications:
  • You are the owner occupant of a one- to four-unit home
  • The loan on your property is owned or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (see Useful Links)
  • At the time you apply, you are current on your mortgage payments (you haven’t been more than 30 days late on your mortgage payment in the last 12 months, or if you have had the loan for less than 12 months, you have never missed a payment)
  • You believe that the amount you owe on your first mortgage is about the same or slightly less than the current value of your house
  • You have income sufficient to support the new mortgage payments, and the refinance improves the long-term affordability or stability of your loan

John Ripple
Cell:    410.937.5650
Email:  Ripple@RipplesRelo.com

Short Sales Explained in Baltimore

Short Sale Explained - CDPE

Short Sales Explained

A short sale can be an excellent solution for homeowners who need to sell, and who owe more on their homes than they are worth. In the past, it was rare for a bank or lender to accept a short sale. Today, however, due to overwhelming market changes, banks and lenders have become much more negotiable when it comes to these transactions. Recent changes in corporate policy and the Obama administration have also improved the chances of getting a short sale approved.
But to be technical, here's a more official definition:
  • A homeowner is 'short' when the amount owed on his/her property is higher than current market value.
  • A short sale occurs when a negotiation is entered into with the homeowner's mortgage company (or companies) to accept less than the full balance of the loan at closing. A buyer closes on the property, and the property is then 'sold short' of the total value of the mortgage.

For homeowners to qualify for a short sale, they must fall into any or all of the following circumstances:
  • Financial Hardship – There is a situation causing you to have trouble affording your mortgage.
  • Monthly Income Shortfall – In other words: "You have more month than money." A lender will want to see that you cannot afford, or soon will not be able to afford your mortgage.
  • Insolvency – The lender will want to see that you do not have significant liquid assets that would allow you to pay down your mortgage.

This seems simple enough, but it is a complicated process that takes the expertise of experienced professionals. We hold the CDPE® Designation and are ready to identify all possible options and, when possible, assist in the quick execution of a short sale transaction.
If you have questions or feel you may qualify for a short sale, please contact us for a free consultation.
Understanding your options now could mean all the difference in the world.

John Ripple
Cell:    410.937.5650
Email:  Ripple@RipplesRelo.com

Maryland Foreclosure Solutions

Foreclosure Solutions - CDPE

Foreclosure Solutions

The current U.S. housing market and national financial crisis has caused untold stress and heartache for many American families. Foreclosure is one of the most devastating financial challenges that a family can face and one that many times can be avoided. The options available  for foreclosure are many. Following is a brief explanation of these solutions, including their benefits and drawbacks:
A reinstatement is the simplest solution for a foreclosure, however it is often the most difficult. The homeowner simply requests the total amount owed to the mortgage company to date and pays it. This solution does not require the lender's approval and will 'reinstate' a mortgage up to the day before the final foreclosure sale.
  • Benefit: Does not require the mortgage company or lender's approval.
  • Drawback: Requires that a homeowner be able to pay all back payments, fines and fees.
Forbearance or Repayment Plan
A forbearance or repayment plan involves the homeowner negotiating with the mortgage company to allow them to repay back payments over a period of time. The homeowner typically makes their current mortgage payment in addition to a portion of the back payments they owe.
  • Benefit: Allows the homeowner to make back payments over time.
  • Drawback: Requires that a homeowner be in a financial position to pay not only their current mortgage, but also a portion of the back payments owed. Some mortgage companies will require a homeowner to 'qualify' for forbearance.
Mortgage Modification
A mortgage modification involves the reduction of one of the following: the interest rate on the loan, the principal balance of the loan, the term of the loan, or any combination of these. These typically result in a lower payment to the homeowner and a more affordable mortgage.
  • Benefit: Reduces the payment a homeowner is required to make on a monthly basis and may reduce the principal balance of the loan
  • Drawback: Requires that a homeowner 'qualify' for the new payment and will often require full documentation. Lender has to be actively pursuing modifications.
Rent the Property
A homeowner who has a mortgage payment low enough that market rent will allow it to be paid, is able to convert their property to a rental and use the rental income to pay the mortgage.
  • Benefit: Allows homeowner to keep property indefinitely.
  • Drawback: The issues that can arise with a rental property are many, and rent often does not cover the full cost of property ownership and maintenance.
Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure
Also known as a 'friendly foreclosure', a deed in lieu allows the homeowner to return the property to the lender rather than go through the foreclosure process. Lender approval is required for this option, and the homeowner must also vacate the property.
  • Benefit: Many times in a successful deed in lieu, the lender will forego their right to a deficiency judgment.
  • Drawback: Requires that a homeowner vacate the property, and a deed in lieu may be reported to credit bureaus as a foreclosure.
Many have considered and marketed bankruptcy as a 'foreclosure solution,' but this is only true in some states and situations. If the homeowner has non-mortgage debts that cause a shortfall of paying their mortgage payments and a personal bankruptcy will eliminate these debts, this may be a viable solution.
  • Benefit: Does not require lender approval.
  • Drawback: If a homeowner cannot afford their mortgage payment, a bankruptcy will only stall—not stop—the foreclosure process. Bankruptcy can be costly, is damaging to credit scores, and can only be declared once every seven years.
If a homeowner has sufficient equity in their property and their credit is still in good standing, they may be able to refinance their mortgage.
  • Benefit: In some cases, this will lower payments.
  • Drawback: In today's market, a refinance will almost always raise mortgage payments, and is an expensive process.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (military personnel only)
If a member of the military is experiencing financial distress due to deployment, and that person can show that their debt was entered into prior to deployment, they may qualify for relief under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The American Bar Association has a network of attorneys that will work with servicemembers in relation to qualifying for this relief.
  • Benefit: If qualified, this will lower payments on all consumer debt in addition to mortgage payments.
  • Drawback: Must be active military to qualify.
Sell the Property
Homeowners with sufficient equity can list their property with a qualified agent that understands the foreclosure process in their area.
  • Benefit: Allows homeowner to avoid foreclosure and harvest some of their equity.
  • Drawback: In many cases today, homeowners do not have sufficient equity to sell their property without negotiating a short sale (see next solution).
Short Sale
If a homeowner owes more on their property than it is currently worth, then they can hire a qualified real estate agent to market and sell their property through the negotiation of a short sale with their lender. This typically requires the property to be on the market and the homeowner must have a financial hardship to qualify. Hardship can be simply defined as a material change in the financial stability of the homeowner between the date of the home purchase and the date of the short sale negotiation. Acceptable hardships include but are not limited to: mortgage payment increase, job loss, divorce, excessive debt, forced or unplanned relocation, and more.
  • Benefit: A short sale allows the homeowner to avoid foreclosure and salvage some of their credit rating. This also keeps foreclosure off the individual's public record, and in many cases will allow the homeowner to avoid a deficiency judgment. Borrower may qualify for another mortgage in as little as 24 months (as opposed to five years for a foreclosure).
  • Drawback: Short sales can be a trying process in which a homeowner is best served by contracting with a qualified real estate agent to guide the way.
This represents only a summary of some of the solutions available to homeowners facing foreclosure. Please call me today for a free confidential evaluation of your individual situation, property value, and possible options.

John Ripple
Cell:    410.937.5650
Email:  Ripple@RipplesRelo.com