Sunday, March 4, 2012

Always Helps to Read the Fine Print

Always helps to read the fine print. This is especially true with government documents. For example, on a HUD-1, we typically read the second page first!! LOL I wanted to point something out that is frequently overlooked in HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative) programs.
The fine print in a HAFA transaction typically reads that if the lender rejects the HAFA short sale offer, the transaction AUTOMATICALLY converts to a Deed in Lieu (DIL)! For this reason, I have sellers execute a HAFA opt out form that is dated at the time of the purchase contract but not tendered unless or until I need it. The terms of a Deed in Lieu are typically not in the best interests of the seller and there will be no financial incentive to move or waiver of deficiency. The timing of the Deed in Lieu is also typically not conducive to a smooth transition for the home owner. It probably also goes without saying that there is no real estate commission paid either. The terms of the DIL are not specified but you can pretty much bet that they are not as favorable (or at least not as unfavorable) for the home owner.
HAFA has helped many home owners move on from a bad situation. For many, it is a tremendous program. However, for others, it has been a nightmare because of the Deed in Lieu. This situation also warrants great care in the submission on the short sale offer because you do not want to get the offer rejected (although a counter offer is fine).
As with many government programs, you have to be careful with proceeding under a HAFA program. The government required that lenders participate in the program but the lenders did manage to get certain concessions. The Deed in Lieu conversion on a rejected short sale in one such concession.

Paddy Deighan Esq

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