by Broderick Perkins
(6/20/2012) Jane Evers says the Federal Housing Finance Agency-directed streamlined short sale initiative, designed to head off foreclosures on underwater mortgages, was long overdue, but the faster path around foreclosure doesn't negate the need to understand the process.
"It's about time! Streamlining short sale timelines will certainly make the short sale process more dignified and manageable for the distressed homeowner," said Evers of the June 15 start for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac servicers to speed up the short sale process.
She ought to know.
She wrote the ebook on short sales, but it's not just any book.
The book stems from her own short selling experiences as a homeowner - twice.
In a short sale, the homeowner typically is "underwater," that is, the property is worth less than the mortgage, but the lender forgives a portion of the debt, provided a qualified buyer is available to purchase the property.
From fickle and impatient buyers to lenders dragging their heels, short sales can be arduous ordeals that are anything but short.
A Renaissance woman with a background in English education, marketing, multimedia productions, corporate communications, jewelry design, community services, culinary skills and damn good timing, Evers' "Homeowner's Guide to Short Sales" ($4.95, Stillwater Media, Inc.) is brand new, just in time for the new streamlined short sale process.
"Even with streamlined timelines, distressed homeowners need to understand the short sale process and know how to market their properties," said the Boynton Beach, FL homeowner.
The first such publication by a homeowner who experienced the ordeal, the guide is a boots on the ground perspective to help sellers cope with what's not short about short sales.
"The homeowner needs to understand the process in order to make the correct decisions during the short sale," says Evers.
The ebook decodes short sale language, reveals how to complete the necessary forms and documents, describes how to find buyers (often the most difficult task) and coaches readers on the emotional aspect of parting with what may have been a dream home.
"If I could do it, so can other homeowners," Evers says.
When home prices were skyrocketing in 2005, Evers invested in two condos as retirement investment vehicles.
Unfortunately, by 2009, she was underwater on both properties but didn't want to suffer foreclosure.
"I began educating myself with the new term, 'short sale,' and realized I had to take drastic actions," she said.
She use the short sale process on one condo it 2010 and again on a second property in 2011.
As an educator knowing the value of research, Evers educated herself on the short sale process, but could not find resources offered from the point of view of the distressed homeowner actually experiencing the ordeal.
"The information out there was either by a lawyer, debt relief agency or a real estate agency, all of whom had ulterior motives - they wanted to persuade the consumer to use their services," Evers says.
Her timing was impeccable.
Effective June 15, 2012 Under FHFA orders mortgage servicers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages must:
Review and respond to requests for short sales within 30 days after a homeowner's short sale offer.
Provide weekly status updates to the borrower if the short sale offer is still under review after 30 calendar days.
Make and communicate final decisions to the borrower within 60 calendar days of receipt of the offer and complete borrower response package.
Later this year, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will announce additional streamlining enhancements addressing borrower eligibility and evaluation, documentation simplification, property valuation, fraud mitigation, payments to subordinate lien holders, and mortgage insurance.
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