Tuesday, May 01, 2012

New Short Sales Guidelines from Fannie and Freddie

by Bill McBride on 5/01/2012 08:09:00 PM

I mentioned this announcement two weeks ago - Kathleen Pender at the San Francisco Chronicle has more: New guidelines are a tall order for short sales

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have issued new guidelines designed to speed up short sales and make them more consistent, but real estate agents question whether they are achievable in the real world.
Under the new guidelines, which take effect June 15, servicers have 30 days to review and respond to short sale offers or requests. If they need more than 30 days, they must provide the borrower weekly updates and a final response within 60 days.

If the borrower is requesting a short sale under the government's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative program, the clock starts ticking when the borrower submits a completed borrower response package requesting consideration of a short sale.
If the short sale is not under the government program, the clock starts ticking when the borrower submits a short sale offer from a potential buyer and a completed borrower response package.
With the average short sale nationwide taking about six months to complete, real estate agents are happy to see the new timetable but wonder if it's realistic.
This doesn't seem realistic, and there doesn't appear to be any penalty for missing the deadlines. But apparently Fannie and Freddie will track the performance of servicers, and maybe they will introduces penalties.

One of the key reasons for the slow approval process is the servicer wants to make sure the transaction is arms-length, and that there are no under the table consideration (extended lease, cash, etc.) and that the price is somewhat reasonable. And that takes time ...