Short sale update – Program helps homeowners

A couple of weeks ago I highlighted how FHA announced that borrowers who have gone through a bankruptcy, foreclosure, deed-in-lieu or short sale can now re-enter the market in as little as 12 months.

Prior to this, borrowers needed to wait at least three years before getting a chance to get approved for an FHA loan. Despite the recent appreciation all homeowners have enjoyed so far this year, there is still an estimated 20-30 percent of these distress homeowners still underwater struggling to make their mortgage payments here within the Inland Empire.

This week I want to speak to them. Many banks still have in-house programs or co-opt agreements with their investors providing incentives to homeowners for relocation assistance. In the past this amount has been as high as $30,000 under certain circumstances. However, I have not heard anyone getting that much lately. Federally, the Home Alternatives Foreclosure Program (HAFA) still has funds available and is going strong offering to qualified homeowner $3,000 at close of escrow for relocation assistance.

In addition, the state of California is providing, via their Transition Assistance Program (TAP), up to $5,000 in transition assistance to qualified homeowners who can no longer afford to stay in their homes.

TAP is one of the CalHFA Mac’s programs that are also federally-funded to provide homeowners secure new housing, and help with their rent, moving expenses, security deposits, and other associated relocating costs. TAP complements HAMP and HAFA. The funds will leverage monies being made available through HAFA. All service banks are required to follow HAFA guidelines. When a bank servicer has approved the homeowner for a HAFA transition, TAP dollars will be limited to $2,000 in order to maintain the $5,000 maximum per household.

For a summary of the guidelines explaining the eligibility criteria and program exclusions visit

keepyourhomecalifornia.org or contact a trusted REALTOR® for assistance.

If you have questions regarding available inventory to purchase or the current bank servicer’s short sale incentives to sellers contact Mike Mason, broker/owner of Mason Real Estate BRE: 01483044, Board of Director of your Southwest Riverside County Association of REALTORS® (SRCAR), Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource certified by National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) at [email protected] or call (951) 296-8887.

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