Are you currently mired in a mortgage of doom? If you are afraid that you’ve bitten off more home loan than you can chew, you are not alone.
Statistics show that nine out of every thousand homes in the United States had pre-foreclosure status in the first seven months of 2007. California is the national leader in the annual amount of pre-foreclosures, with 132,101 actual filings in the first seven months of the year. Alpine County in California saw an amazing 39.3 instances of pre-foreclosure status per thousand homes in July 2007.
What options are available to a homeowner in trouble? You don’t have to sit back and wait for the bank to take your home away. Short sales offer pre-foreclosure properties an exit strategy.
Short sales offer an option to the smart homeowner that is trapped in a mortgage they simply cannot afford to pay. Whether your interest rate ballooned out of control, your job situation changed or you simply have more money going out coming in with your current income, there are options left even if your home is in pre-foreclosure.
How do short sales work? Once you find yourself in pre-foreclosure, find a realtor that specializes in such situations. Because the market is flooded with vulnerable homeowners, it is important to choose a reputable real estate agent.
They will assist you in approaching your bank or lender with the proper information to request a short sale. If this is granted by your lender, a large portion of your debt may be forgiven. In essence, short sales save the bank a long and drawn out foreclosure process and the expenses that go with it. They are likely stuck with several foreclosures and simply want to recover the majority of their funds. In other words, the amount of money you owe on your home becomes negotiable.
A good realtor will save your credit rating and help your family find an affordable home. It is wise to hire their services, as short sales can be tricky. For instance, you will need to consider interest in the total amount you currently owe on your home, which is not included on the amount listed on your monthly statement.
Your realtor will help you assemble documentation on your financial status. This is proof for your lender of your inability to pay on the mortgage. You will need financial statements as well as a hardship letter, which is a personal statement on your situation. Your realtor will then approach the bank on your behalf and attempt to free you from your unmanageable mortgage.
Pre-foreclosure is a stressful time. Just know that many other people across the country are in the same situation. The most important thing to remember is to be proactive, or else suffer the mark of a foreclosure on your financial records for many years to come. With guidance from a trusted real estate agent, you will find a way out of this difficult situation that will not leave you in ruin. Short sales help save your financial status.
With historically high rates of default on home mortgages lenders are facing many more foreclosures than they have in the past. This allows for short sale investors and pre-foreclosure specialists to thrive in the current market. However, not everyone who defaults on a mortgage should be considered a candidate for a short sale.
A short sale is only one of six loss mitigation options, and playing the pre-foreclosure game successfully requires a working understanding of the other five. In this article we will look more closely at all of the options available to a homeowner with a defaulted mortgage so that you will be able to present a balanced picture to your client and help them make the decisions that are in their best interest.
Does working with sellers in pre-foreclosure mean you have to be a loss mitigation expert? No, but it does mean you should be familiar with the options available to your client and be able to refer them to a different specialist whenever appropriate.
The purpose of loss mitigation options is to provide an alternative to foreclosure for homeowners who have had difficulty keeping up with their payments but who may still be willing and able to stay in their homes. Generally speaking, a lender is not likely to offer loss mitigation options to the owner of an investment property. And a short sale is usually the last choice on the lender’s list of options, only slightly better than an actual foreclosure.
The first loss mitigation option, in order of the lender’s preference, is a repayment plan. This is where the homeowner catches up the payments and brings the loan current, perhaps by making higher than normal payments for a set period of time. The lender experiences no loss this way. The second option is a loan modification, where the borrower and the lender agree to new loan terms that are acceptable to both, perhaps with a lower interest rate but larger balance.
Third is a forbearance, which is where the lender allows the borrower to go for a specific amount of time without making payments, perhaps adding the back payment amount onto the balance of the loan. Those three options all apply to a homeowner who is able (eventually) to pay for the house.
For the homeowner who doesn’t have the means to stay in the house, the lender’s preferred option is an assumption, which is where somebody else who qualifies assumes the loan and resumes payments. Next is a deed in lieu of foreclosure, which is where a lender agrees not to foreclose but rather accepts the property by quit claim deed, which will protect the borrower’s credit somewhat. And finally, the last option considered by lenders before foreclosing is a short sale.
Understand that making use of any of these alternatives requires strict qualifying by the lender. All loss mitigation alternatives require there to be a legitimate hardship on the part of the borrower. A repayment plan, loan modification, or forbearance will require demonstration of the borrower’s ability to pay, an assumption will require the assumer to qualify for the loan, and a deed in lieu or a short sale will require documentation of the borrower’s inability to pay.
As a pre-foreclosure investor, only after you have informed your client of and eliminated all other options can you confidently proceed with negotiating a short sale.
Doing a mortgage loan officer training course may end up adding some extra value to your curriculum vitae and make your profile stand out while you go for interviews. Many people are unable to learn as they have to work to feed themselves and their families. For such people, these institutes offer online courses. The online courses are easily accessible by the users once they log on to the site. The portion is divided into a number of sections so as to make it easier for the user to use the exact part that he or she wants to. The user has to complete a specific part of his or her work in a specific given time schedule. Thus, the online course helps teach its users some time management.
The loan officer training course is now-a-days available in a revised pattern as the old pattern is considered inefficient by experts. The new pattern tends to impart a lot of practical knowledge than theoretical. The loan officer training course includes video clips which help the candidate understand more and make his or her mortgage related fundamentals clear. With the help of these video clips the candidates come to know about the exact steps that they should take when they are stuck in any difficult situation.
The course includes subjects like loan originating, mortgage products, mortgage appraisals and underwritings which are extremely important from the point of view of a career in the mortgage industry. The loan officer training course also helps to instill values like time management, getting and retaining customers, avoiding mistakes and taking perfect actions when stuck in situations. All these values are extremely important for a mortgage official. The courses also have timely tests and quizzes to help the students revise their studies and to avoid making the course a monotonous job to be done.
The loan officer training course is also an option for already trained loan officers to revise their knowledge and learn a few more new things. The combination of heir experience in the field and the certificate of this new course may help them increase their efficiency at work and their incomes. On the completion of this course, the candidate gets a 12 month valid license. In these 12 months the candidate may repeat his or her course or work and gain some more experience. Thus, this course and the 12 months after it, make you efficient enough to handle everything on your own and start doing the real job. The only thing to be worried about is that the mortgage industry is defined differently at different places, thus you cannot work on the same license at two different places.
Short Sale Loan Officer Training
In today’s real estate market, the once lucrative opportunity of being a loan officer or mortgage broker originating loans and refinancing homeowners is no longer so lucrative. The sub prime mortgage meltdown and the mortgage credit crunch has really put a damper on that traditional business model.
What you should know is the short sale mortgage business is doing fantastic right now. There are more defaulted mortgages in the marketplace right now than we have ever seen before. The transition from a residential mortgage brokers business to a short sale mortgage business is very easy. The mortgage brokers and loan officers that use my short sale mortgage system are making ten times more now per file than they used to make by only originating loans. The opportunity to make big money in real estate short sales is now.
To get a Free Short Sale Mortgage Course, Go here: Short Sales for Brokers
A successful short sale package begins with calling the lender who owns the loan or mortgage. Stipulations and requirements for these types of sales vary from bank to bank. The only way to know what is required of you is to make a phone call to the lending institution. Make sure you talk to the supervisor who is responsible for the final decision in the application process, not the “delinquent payment” department. It may take a few phone calls, but by talking to the person in charge you will be better informed about the entire sale process.
A letter of authorization is usually required to begin the process. The letter stipulates that the lender can talk directly with your real estate or closing agent, lawyer, or title company without you being present. This letter should include the address of the property, reference to the loan number, your name, current date, and your agent’s and/or lawyer’s name and contact information. While this letter is not required by law, it will simplify the process for the lending institution, thus making it more likely that they will approve the sale.
A typical short sale package includes a preliminary net sheet, a letter of hardship, proof of current income and assets, copies of the last three months of bank statements, a CMA (comparative market analysis), and, once the sale is finalized, a copy of the purchase agreement. A preliminary net sheet lists the expected sale price of the property minus the closing costs, realtor fees, unpaid loan balances, outstanding payments due, including late fees, and any accrued taxes that may be owed on the property. A realtor can usually prepare this sheet for you.
A letter of hardship is a letter that describes why you have fallen behind on your payments and why the sale of the property will be less than the amount owed on the mortgage or loan. This letter should by as truthful and heartfelt as possible, and should be written by you. In it explain why you have fallen behind on your payments. This could include unexpected medical expenses, a death of a wage earner, or a lost job due to layoffs or cutbacks. Most financial institutions look down on excuses that relate to being fired from a job, unexpected legal fees due to lawsuits, or divorce settlements. Remember that banks do not like to receive partial payment on an outstanding loan. You have to convince them that you need the help.
Proof of income and assets is a declaration of your current financial status. This should current income levels, backed up by back paycheck stubs and bank statements, any other properties or assets of value that you may own, any stocks or bonds you may own, or any number of other things that a bank may classify as collateral. Banks vary greatly on what they require to be included. Therefore, you will need to contact the lending institution to find out the details. Remember you want to be as honest and accurate as possible. Finally, a comparative market analysis will help prove that you cannot sell the property for the value of the loan. This analysis includes recent property values and impending market sales, and can be prepared by your realtor. Collect these documents and letters to create a successful short sale package.
It was a real estate boom like no other. Interest rates were dropping incredibly, homes were garnishing appreciation by the week, the stock market wasn’t moving and first time home buyers were getting their piece of the American dream. Mortgage brokers, Real Estate Agents and New Home builders were raking in the cash. It seemed like it would never end. Month after month, year after year the sales of new and existing homes climbed. Investors threw their money into the housing market and then as fast as it came it went thud.
The thud started around November of 2006. It started incrementally with a slower than expected August, a quiet November and the news articles started to reflect which was inevitably going to commence. In January of 2007 the Real Estate Taxes were due and crash it went. What seems to be happening now is a rush to unload. From the outside looking in you can see the stock market rise as the housing market falls. New home builders with still a glimmer of hope increase the price of new homes yet offering larger than expected home incentives. Upgrades galore, creative financing, buyers agents bonuses and yet they continue to build on the land they have allocated for future expansion. If it seems familiar, it is. It has an uncanny sense of 1983 all over again.
How did this happen and what makes this housing thud different from the last? There are some minor differences that make this more unique than the last housing crash. Back in the 80’s interest rates were at sometimes 16%. At that point it made sense to try to assume a mortgage that was a lower interest rate and throw your cash into their equity. But it wasn’t realized equity. It was an inflated sense of a market share. As prices dropped home owners found they were in an over valued situation and as the job market suffered they could no longer pull their money out of their house to move on with their lives. It caused a ripple affect of people walking away from thousands of dollars just to save what they had left. Real estate was sold at auction in a manner that you would buy livestock or sheriff’s sales and the late night infomercials were non-stop. “No Money Down” was the catch phrase. You can still find those publications that cite 20% interest rates and how finding a home with a 10% interest rate was a real steal.
So what happened in the last decade? Feeding on that premise that no money down is something of a desired situation and interest rates dropping most people would assume the best investment was their home. Out the window went the premise of paying down your note and having a secure position in your most valued asset. For some time it was just a matter of the educated investor refinancing a higher note and gaining equity in their home just by dropping their interest rate. It was a normal progression of an intelligent move. Refinancing could shorten the length of your home loan in some instances by 15 years and also lower your monthly payment. And then arose the hungry new home builder, the starving loan officer competing in a new market and the incredible increase of Real Estate Agents flooding the market.
Here’s how it worked. In most instances this was a first time home buyer. They were to purchase a house no money down. There would be two loans. The 80% back loan that was a fixed rate of sometimes as low as 5% and then the front loan. The front loan represented the 20% down that was typically the homeowner’s down payment. That 20% loan was an adjustable rate mortgage that was incrementally to increase over 5 years and then a balloon was to sit waiting at the end. The buyer confused by all this new jargon would ask, and then what? It was explained with the advent of interest rates dropping it was standard practice at that point to refinance that loan with another fixed rate loan or refinance the entire note at one fixed rate. It became such a standard practice that the next step made even less sense. Why not just incorporate your closing costs as well? And they did. Up to 6% of your closing costs could be rolled back into your loan. The buyer would ask what their monthly payment was and assumed that was an affordable note and there you have it. It was a disaster waiting to happen.
The second victim was the investor. The investor that in most instances was watching their money sit either in CD’s that showed a dropping interest rate or a stock market that refused to move. The investor would buy these new homes with incredible incentives and it was explained that the home had these upgrades to the standard built home, the home would ofcourse appreciate to where they could sell in 5 years and realize the equity of a moving home market, and then reinvest. They even came with appliances so that they could rent them immediately. Could there be a catch?
So here’s where it all plays out now. The new home buyer is in the home of their dreams. And the interest rates instead of dropping are now increasing. So incrementally their payment increases. Then to add insult to injury the home they purchased had an estimated tax base of an empty lot. So the taxes figured at closing were estimated on a fraction of the value of completed construction. Here comes the new appraisal on completed construction and your tax base increases by 150%. These new home buyers revisit that 20% loan and notice that the note is coming due. Struggling to understand the increase in their monthly mortgage payment, coming up with the added cash for their balloon, compounded with the increase in gas and consumable goods is overwhelming. So, as suggested by their loan officer they search to refinance.
What was not explained to them is with the rush of foreclosures on the market and millions of people in the same situation, you must have equity to refinance. You must show the ability to be able to support your note. And they are turned away.
The investor finds themselves in a new subdivision competing with new home sales and no equity. The builder has built in their contract that they can not erect a sign in their yard advertising the property for sale until the subdivision is completed. There are not to hang a lock box on the door. So basically they must rely on the local MLS to market their property. To add insult to injury now the new homes are selling the exact same house they purchased 2 to 5 years earlier for less than they purchased it and adding more upgrades and incentives to new home buyers.
This created a flood of foreclosures on the market. People frustrated are electing to walk away from the home and their good credit rating. Lenders are found at the court house steps now purchasing these homes, fixing them up and reselling them. In some instances the homes are not even rehabbed but placed back on the market sold “as-is, where-is”. That would be the new catch phrase.
In order to circumvent the costs of the foreclosure the lending market created an alternative for a homeowner to stop their foreclosure. This system has now been name a “short sale” or a “pre-foreclosure”. The short sale is handled this way. The homeowner without any equity in their home approaches the mortgage company and requests a short sale. They are to fill out financial information substantiating that they are no longer able to pay the note. Upon acceptable of the package the home is then listed by a real estate agent on the local MLS and marketing as a “short-sale” or “pre-foreclosure”. The offers are then submitted directly to the lender and the lender will make the decisive move as to whether to accept the offer or renegotiate. The homeowner at this point is nothing more than a signature on the listing agreement or the closing statement.
Once the lender comes to an agreement with a prospective buyer the closing date is set and the house changes hands. In most instances the loan is reported as being satisfied and the homeowner now can relax and move to a more comfortable situation. There are floods of new seminars on purchasing property in this type of distressed situation and even though it is a reliable way to purchase property the best case scenario is ofcourse an end user. This is a particularly good way for a home buyer to purchase a property in relatively good condition for a discounted price.
As a real estate agent in the Houston area I have found it difficult to find documentation to send my sellers to to educate them in the process. Most websites are about buying real estate in a short sale situation but I have been limited in finding documentation to support how you would sell such home. Henceforth the publication of this article.
Does this scenario seem familiar? You’ve lost that high-paying job you thought you had tucked in your pocket; your finances are upside down, you miss a couple mortgage payments and now your home is in pre-foreclosure. You owe more money than the home is worth. You’re not sure which direction to turn or what strategy to adopt to escape this difficult situation. You’re looking for help from someone who has mastered the art of saving people from real estate peril. You need someone to help you with the details of short sales.
Real estate short sales are a process which basically means selling a piece of property for less than is owed. This enables the seller to sell his house while in pre-foreclosure, enables the lender to at least get a good chunk of their investment back and enables the buyer to procure a beautiful home for a lot less money than usual. Short sales are another way of saying let’s make a deal.
The headaches and ominous black clouds of foreclosure are increasingly common in cities across California, but banks do not really want homes to go past pre-foreclosure. Banks are not in the real estate business. It’s just too much time, struggle and money for them to go all the way. A good real estate agent guides you through the steps needed to make short sales happen.
Typically, a person will call the lender a half-dozen times or more before contacting the person who is in charge of short sales. Ask for a supervisor so that you deal with someone with the authority to make a decision. Don’t let the lackeys give you the run around. Of course, with a great agent, you avoid some of the more common headaches of short sales.
If you choose to use an agent to assist you with a short sale, you’ll need to give them the proper authorization. A letter containing your name, the current date, the address of the pre-foreclosure home and the reference number of the loan should suffice. Also include the name and information of your agent so that the lender may contact them. The lender will be far more cooperative and willing to discuss personal information with your agent when they’ve been given proper authorization from you.
Another letter that you must write is a letter of hardship. You’ll need to explain what has happened to cause your upside down situation. Did you lose your job? Were you incapacitated and unable to make ends meet for a while? The letter of hardship is a way to put a human face on a pile of missed payments.
From bank statements to pay stubs, the lender will want to see them all to assess your situation. But don’t let their monolithic features intimidate you; lenders are humans just like you or I. Quite likely, especially in California where many homes have been going into the pre-foreclosure, they know someone personally in a situation similar to yours. Turn to an expert and let them ease your fears during the short sales process.
Many homeowners are finding themselves upside-down, meaning that they owe more on their home than the current market value. What factors have resulted in many owners finding themselves in this position?
For some, simple hardship results in being upside-down. Perhaps one our both spouses have lost their job or have had to take another position at a lower income. Perhaps due to an adjustable rate mortgage the monthly payment has increased to an amount that is difficult for the owner to pay. Other reasons include interest only mortgages where payments are applied only to the interest and no payments are made to reduce the base cost of the loan.
Some older adults find themselves in a position of planning for long term care and simply needing to move while their mortgage balance is greater than the value of their home. For them, it is simply a matter of timing versus a personal need for care. There are as many reasons people find themselves in this situation as there are people in the world.
So, once a home owner is in a position where making monthly mortgage payments become difficult, what is the best course of action? The obvious is to address the hardship issue if possible. However if this is an unrealistic solution, a short sale can avoid the route to foreclosure and damaging a credit rating. The time to consider a short sale is long (at least 6-8 months) before a home owner approaches foreclosure and when a valid hardship can be documented.
An experienced realtor can guide you through the short sale process. This includes gathering information about the requirements of the loan holder relative to the sale. In a short sale the skill of the realtor in the negotiation process is extremely important as the goal is to market and sell the home at the best price possible in order to close the gap on the amount of the loan and the net proceeds from the sale. Because of the process there are many more details than in a regular real estate transaction.
For example, a home with a loan value of $145,000 that can sells for $140,000 would result in a net proceed of approximately $130,200 (the cost to sell a home averages 7% of the sales price). Thus the difference between the loan amount and the net proceed is $14,800. This amount can be addressed in three ways: 1) it is forgiven in total, 2) the seller is asked to sign a loan for the amount due or 3) the seller is issued a 1099 at which time a tax specialist should be consulted.
The benefit of a doing a short sale versus allowing a home to go into foreclosure is that a credit record is not affected provided mortgage payments are current. The seller also remains in control of the transaction. Which means that the owner can occupy the home until is it sold and has time to make plans for new living arrangements. Take control of your real estate needs today and avoid foreclosure by looking into doing a short sale.
An Alternative to Foreclosure – Short Sales
For those of you who now find yourselves upside down in your mortgage, facing foreclosure and sometimes even bankruptcy here are a few facts to know.
A short sale is something that the lending market has recently come to terms with as a alternative solution for foreclosure. With the alarming rate of foreclosures coming into the real estate market this step seems to ward off the inevitable and save the seller’s credit.
Most sellers are now finding themselves in the horrible situation of losing their American Dream. When they first purchased their house it was explained to them that when the adjustable rate mortgage kicked in that they could easily refinance the house to a 30 year fixed note with their equity in place. However, the market has turned and now these homeowners are finding themselves with a mortgage that is far in excess of what their homes are worth and lenders are not readily available to refinance. In most instances their loan has been sold and they are stuck with a mortgage that continues to escalate.
A short sale is a process in which you list your house with a realtor familiar with the process. They garnish an offer and submit it to your lender for review. All fees are paid by your lender and in most cases the loan is reported as satisfied. It’s important to remember a few things about the short sales.
1. Sometimes your second mortgage will require you to sign an unsecured note for the balance of the loan. Be prepared for this. Not all lenders do it and I sometimes suggest that the borrower go back at a later date to renegotiate the note.
2. Do not ignore your HOA fees. Your homeowner’s association can and will put another lien on your home and that lien will have to be cleared before the short sale is accepted. You lender will not be willing to pay these fees and in most instances neither will an interested buyer.
3. Most lenders request a financial worksheet, 2 most recent copies of pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements and a hardship letter.
4. Ensure your realtor is familiar with the process and let them know your home is in distress.
5. Short sales take time. Be patient and ready and willing to show your home on a moments notice. Your showing records are very important.
6. Don’t give up! Short sales typically take 60-90 days while the loss mitigation department reviews your short sale.
For more information on the process you can visit my website www.fortbendland.com or contact me directly at Linda@fortbendland.com.
Amazing Short Sale Profits Part # 2 of 2
Now, let’s look at a situation where there is $100,000 owed on a mortgage and the property has back taxes of $5,000, a 6% real estate commission of $6,000 and repairs of $10,000. On a good day, the lender(s) may net $79,000. Now if the market value has fallen by 10%, then it is worth maybe $69,000, if…the lender can find a Buyer?
Now a sales price of $69,000 may be a fair deal for some Buyers, but not a great deal to a smart Buyer and certainly a very poor one to a wholesaler. So, if a retail Buyer could get this property for $60,000, that would be a much better value and the wholesaler could get for $50,000, that would work for him.
Soooo… how can we persuade the lender(s) to agree to approve and accept a short sale offer from a bad loan for them into a great deal for us? Make them an offer and substantiate with documentation why they should accept it, and that the Buyer is qualified to buy it now. The lender(s) and borrower(s) both at this point just want to “make it end and go away”.
Each loan(s) and lender(s) has certain criteria and guidelines to follow and must comply with. The lender(s), if they feel that there is a reasonable and responsible offer from a serious qualified Buyer, they will engage an appraiser and or a BPO agent to be the eyes and ears for the area and property and will forward their written opinion (appraisal or BPO) back to the lender(s).
The lender(s) will evaluate and then will decide to accept, counter or reject the offer. Additionally if there are two or more lenders on the subject property, the first lender will basically decide what they will take and typically the second may only get $1000 to maybe $5000, very seldom any more.
If the property goes to a public sale, typically anyone behind the first mortgage will lose out. Assuming the lender(s) accept the offer, then a detailed letter of the short sale agreement will be forwarded to the closing office and the purchase and sale will be completed in a typical fashion, with all parties getting what was agreed to.
In the forms section is all the paperwork that is needed to complete a short sale. The borrower(s) cannot negotiate a short sale for themselves and also CANNOT receive back any money proceeds from the closing
To learn more about the amazing profits of short sales, please visit our website or contact us for more in depth information. Questions…please contact me.
It is an enormous frustration to investors doing short sales that the lenders take months to make a decision and just don’t seem to care. The homeowner stuck in the middle gets frustrated because he doesn’t know how soon he will be required to move or worse, be evicted from his former home. In fact, the business of short sales by lenders is a gigantic part of their business and is absolutely necessary to keep their inventory of homes (REO’s) as low as possible.
Despite the benefit to the lender and to the investor, the investor-buyer is often treated as a “bottom feeder” and with minimal respect. Why should the lender treat investors any differently? Common sense, which is not all so common, would say that getting rid of a headache is better than suffering. However, if lenders agreed quickly to short sale offers, they would be putting their portfolio at risk by not doing good and proper due diligence with regard to the real value of the property. In the old days, an investor could walk into a local bank office and ask if they had an REO’s. The clerks or tellers would send them to an officer who would have a few properties that were For Sale by the bank. These days are gone in 99% of the country. To avoid favoritism and possible fraud, these transactions are centralized in loss mitigation facilities throughout the country. All foreclosure cases are handled by these highly trained professionals that are taught how to handle investors.
Handling investors is very simple. The investors who get short sales done quickly and efficiently are offering way too much money, usually 80+% of the mortgage amount due. Lenders will take this 20% discount all day long. The real short sale specialists are the ones who work diligently and get discounts of 30% to 50% off. To get this amount the lender has to cool his heals and have the property listed on the MLS® to make certain the property can’t be sold for a more reasonable price.
Investors target the deficiencies in the property and any weaknesses the lender will have to correct or pay for until the property is sold through a realtor. If the realtor lists the property too high, there will be no offers. If he lists it too low, he will have offers but the buyer will have the low offering price on the MLS® to contend with when he rehabs and re-sells it to retail buyer, resulting in some buyers not being able to get financing.
The loss mitigation reps have hundreds of cases assigned to them and are paid on performance. Yes, the lender knows how much he is willing to discount each and every mortgage that comes into loss mitigation. So despite the best efforts of the investor to de-value the property, the loss mitigation rep already knows the amount he can allow the mortgage to be discounted. The “loss mit rep” knows because he has access to real estate agents’ price opinions (BPO’s), real estate agents’ comparative market analysis (CMA’s) and appraisals that all indicate the fair market value at a specific time.
The public records are reviewed to see what other issues the lender may face. Finally, a “kick-out” price is determined by a supervisor and the loss mit rep is given a monetary incentive to get anything higher for the mortgage. What happens is the loss mit rep is actually bidding against himself by allowing the investor too low a price. So the incentive is to control the investor by driving him crazy by not answering calls, and holding off as long as possible. If the short sale isn’t completed it is not a demerit against the loss mit rep.
The system of loss mitigation is inherently flawed by the way lenders compensate their employees and the number of cases (250+) each rep is required to handle. The cases that get the attention are the ones with the highest offers or lowest discounts because the loss mit rep gets a higher compensation. Unfortunately, this means that viable properties are left to sit and decay that could have been sold quickly otherwise and often for more money. So the lenders may care about getting properties off their books, but their loss mitigation system is flawed in the favor of the people who should be interested in doing the best job for the lender, not the homeowner or the investor.