Foreclosure volume continues to slip.
According to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac, in September, the number of foreclosure filings nationwide fell 7 percent from the month prior, and fell 16 percent from September 2011.
RealtyTrac defines a “foreclosure filing” as any of the following foreclosure-related events : (1) A default notice on a home; (2) A scheduled auction for a home; or, (3) A bank repossession of a home.
September’s 180,427 foreclosure filings mark the lowest monthly total in more than 5 years. It’s a signal that the U.S. housing market is in recovery, while also reflecting the success with which banks and homeowners have found alternatives to the foreclosure process, including the short sale.
Based on data from the National Association of REALTORS®, short sales now account for 45 percent of “distressed” home sales nationwide/ As recently as April, the percentage of short sales was just 39 percent.
Other noteworthy statistics from the September 2012 foreclosure report include :
- Default Notices fell 12% between August and September 2012
- In Q3 2012, quarterly foreclosure filings fell for the 9th straight quarter
- The average time to foreclose on a home rose to 382 days nationwide, the highest since early-2007
In addition, in September, Florida posted the top foreclosure rate nationwide for the first time since April 2005.
Foreclosure starts moved higher in the Sunshine State for the 11th straight month and bank repossessions are now up 23 percent as compared to September 2011. 1 in every 318 Florida homes received some form of foreclosure filing last month.
The national average was 1 in 730.
Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or an experienced one, homes in various stages of foreclosure have allure. They tend to be sold cheaply as compared to non-distressed properties, for example. However, buyers should look beyond just the “list price”. Foreclosed homes are often sold as-is which means that homes may be defective and uninhabitable.
This would render the home un-lendable, too, for buyers using bank financing.
If you plan to buy a foreclosed property in Jacksonville (Northeast Florida) , therefore, be sure to engage an experienced real estate professional. The internet can teach about “how to buy a home”, but when it comes to writing contracts and inspecting homes for defects, you’ll want to have an experienced agent like Tim Fennell with The Legends of Real Estate on your side.
Which Lenders Process Short Sales The Fastest?
There is a lot of misinformation floating around about short sales. We recently met with a seller who had a “friend” with her to give her “advice.” Well, the friend had plenty of opinions and advice but most of it was flat out wrong!
Unfortunately, even though we are the professionals who work with short sales on a daily basis and who eat, drink, play and sleep real estate day in and day out, she listened to her “trusted friend” who knows nothing about real estate. What a shame.
At any rate, I don’t want to go into all the inaccurate info dispensed by the friend other than to address one thing…
Not all short sales take a super long time to get approved and closed.
In fact, some are processed relatively quickly and with little hassle. (Now, don’t misunderstand… there are some that take several months – even up to 6 months – but those are becoming more the exception than the rule.) If you are in the middle of a short sale, you should be prepared to exercise patience and to just go along with all the seemingly ridiculous requests the lender makes to send them documents that you’ve already sent 3 times before, etc. Be patient, work with a professional real estate consultant who has experience and knows what they are doing and stick to the game plan.
Now, just which lenders do process short sales the fastest?
Fortunately, not all lenders/servicers are the same when it comes to dealing with short sales. RealtyTrac recently compiled a list of data showing which ones tend to move through the process quicker and for less.
Their data shows that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA loans had the shortest timelines. Ally Financial was second and PNC Financial Group came in third. Wells Fargo (with whom we’ve had pretty good experiences) came in 4th followed by New York Mellon, Bank of America (in our experience, Bank of America is very inconsistent… some are processed fast while others seem to drag on forever), and Sun Trust.
Recently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac came out with new guidelines, effective June of 2012, requiring servicers to respond within 30 days of receiving a short sale offer or a borrower application. We are hopeful that this guideline will be strictly adhered to by all. Bank of America recently announce that they will provide a decision on a short sale offer within 20 days — I remain skeptical about this, given our past experiences with Bank of America. Let’s hope they are able to deliver on this goal.
Contact us for more information about short sales or any real estate related questions. If you have a legal question, we will arrange a consultation for you with one of the areas finest real estate attorney.
BREAKING NEWS – SHORT SALE YOUR HOME AND GET PAID UP TO $20,000 BY YOUR LENDER!
We have just learned that Bank of America is offering Florida homeowners as much as $20,000 to short sale their homes rather than allowing them linger in foreclosure. This limited time offer hasn’t received very much promotion from Bank of America, but they sent emails to select Florida Realtors earlier this week outlining basic details of the plan. We have not seen the details yet but want to make our readers aware of the opportunity now!
To qualify, the short sales must be submitted for approval to Bank of America before Nov. 30. The homes must have no offers on them already and the sale must close before Aug. 31, 2012.
According to the information we received, the plan, which has a minimum payout amount of $5,000, is a genuine incentive to Florida homeowners who may otherwise be facing foreclosure.
The thought process behind the offer is to provide a sort of bribe incentive encouraging the borrower to leave the house in good condition. All too many homes that have fallen into foreclosure have been neglected by the homeowners or even deliberately damaged in some cases. This move is a preventive measure which will hopefully save the bank thousands of dollars in losses due to damage and/or neglect when the property is left vacant for many months or years prior to selling.
Perhaps this is a sign that banks are finally beginning to realize that there is no advantage to them by not working with the struggling homeowner. It is much better for the banks to accept the fact that there is just nothing these distressed homeowners can do to prevent the inevitable due to job losses or other unfortunate circumstances brought on by the horrible economy we’ve all had to endure.
A spokesman for Bank of America said the program is being tested in Florida, and if successful, could be expanded to other states. Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase apparently also have similar short sale programs although we have no additional details on them at this time either.
From what we understand, the Wells Fargo short sale incentive is only good on first lien loans that it owns, which is about 20 percent of its total portfolio. Also, you need to know that Bank of America’s plan excludes Ginnie Mae, Federal Housing Administration and VA loans.
Similar to the federal Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program, or HAFA, which offers $3,000 in relocation assistance, the Bank of America program may also waive a homeowner’s deficiency judgment at closing.
Remember, we are here to assist you with your short sale and our close working relationship with a local real estate attorney provides opportunity for you to receive a free legal consult prior to making any decisions.
Contact us for more information on this or any other real estate related questions.