Short Sale, Lease Back, and then Re-Purchase your home? Is this really an option for Distressed Homeowners? We’re not sure…

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Short Sale Lease Back – SSLB Program for Distressed Homeowners is one of the newer “Options” Available and is causing a wave of controversy. Here is why; HAFA Guidelines were amended in 2011 to allow Short Sale Lease Back (SSLB) as long as a Non-Profit Corporation registered as a 503 (c) is the purchaser.  See Section  7.3 of Chapter IV of the Handbook. This SSLB Program is seeing some success in California and gaining momentum in other states by being used in advertising as a “Distressed Homeowner Option“.  However, we see several caveats to these HAFA guideline amendments and the SSLB Program, as it has been presented.  On the surface it appears to be like most government sponsored options and a major reason the Making Homes Affordable Programs have not seen the results expected, is that the Lender | Servicer has to first agree to participate, establish that they have implemented guidelines with HAFA, and that they then get to determine if you are approved or qualify for this “Option”.  The criteria for this program is that you have to meet the following;

  • Lender | Servicer approve or qualify home in advance
  • Sale or transfer property to a Non-Profit Corporation
  • viable or verifiable Hardship
  • Pay fair market value in rent
  • Stay in the home for three years
  • Complete a Short Sale in this time frame to a Not for Profit Corporation, Not specified or monitored by HAFA
  • Transaction for both the purchase, lease-back, and Short Sale have to be completed by this Non-Profit Group

Again, HAFA or as many government programs do, leaves the cooperative power in the hands of the Lender | Servicer and their Investors, through guidelines and approval stipulations.  An Attorney | Broker in California pointed out, and we agree, that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have “Arms-Length Transaction” stipulations or restrictions, which comprises over 90% of the Distressed Home Loan Inventory.  Thus, your margin of success is now limited to 10% of the remaining lenders | servicers | investors.

What concerns us even more, as evidenced by scenario’s being presented to the Grievance Committee in the Las Vegas Market, is how some are presenting and mis-representing variations of the original SSLB Program. These parties have been discovered, to some degree, to be preying upon Distressed Homeowners by offering enticing alternatives such as a purchase back solutions.  It’s our belief these parties are taking advantage of Distressed Homeowner’s emotions that are wanting to stay in their homes at today’s prices.

Homeowners Be aware;

These abuses premised on this SSLB Program are not based on what’s being told to some Distressed Homeowners when they sign-up, it’s what’s not being disclosed, that is the concern!

“What if my Short Sale fails and I have already agreed to sell, my home to the Non-Profit Group?  In fact, in one situation the home was already transferred via power of  attorney and a quit-claim deed.  Thus the answer was: Oh, didn’t we discuss the risks initially? Sorry and by the way, you have 30-days to move, if that….”

“Now that the house is still going to foreclosure, where did all my rent go to that I paid the Non-Profit Group and/or Investor while under review? The Answer: Oops, I’m sure we discussed this possibility, sorry and by the way, you have 30-days to get out, and no refunds……” This mis-use of the SSLB was done under the pretence to collect rents and never stay the foreclosure or assist in helping the homeowner.

“This was a great program, Thank you! I am on my feet again and ready to buy my house back. The Answer: Oops sorry, did we forget to mention that one of the conditions are that you cannot by your house back due to the lien holders policy on Arms-Length Transactions! Of course, you may continue to pay rent to the Non-Profit Corporation or  current Investor.”

Understand that the SSLB Program does not allow for you to re-purchase your specific home. Thus, those advertising, may be over promising, or potentially misleading you to move forward with an SSLB option will not deliver on promises to keep you in your home past the three (3) year stipulation by the HAFA guidelines. Any party that hooks a Distressed Homeowner with the SSLB promise, which results in a flip for profit benefit raises concern.

The scenarios mentioned are current abuses of what we are already seeing in the Las Vegas Area.

The SSLB Program, though allowed by HAFA, has not evolved enough in this market. After hearing the Distressed Homeowner’s complaints of not keeping the negotiations in their directive control during the bank’s review of a loan modification, deed-in-lieu, deficiency release, or short sale, we believe there are much better options available that have fewer challenges and fewer opportunities for fraudulent practices, that can be accomplished with our assistance.

We are not sold on the SSLB Program, the complications created by the HAFA guidelines, or the willingness of lenders | servicers to participate other than on a limited basis. Thus, the Neighborhood Home Rescue Program will present the SSLB option benefits, in addition to the risks so, the homeowner has a better understanding.

We believe in the education of our clients as to all of the options available to them, by doing so, we have found the Homeowner to be able to make the healthiest decisions for themselves and their family while reaching for the best possible outcome. The information we and our network of consultants | contributors provide is at no cost and | or no advance fee consultations.  See our most recent Video regarding Distressed Homeowner Options or schedule an appointment with one of our associates. We can assist you in knowing which is your best option in relation to your real estate needs and we look forward to helping you get the assistance you need to maneuver through this unprecedented Market.  Please contact any Platinum Elite Associate by clicking our HomePage, E-mail us at Info@PlatinumElite.com, or call us at 702-869-9999.

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Are Banks Stealing Homes from Homeowners? You Decide!

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Recently, the President of the GLVAR (Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors), asked all Realtors to stand-up for what is right. Banks and Servicing Entities are again instructing BPO Agents to not include Foreclosures, REO properties, Short Sales, Properties in poor condition, and are including properties that are too far out from the subject property. They are also using, “As-Is” Language, which is not recognized in the State of Nevada, it should be “As-Disclosed!” Whatever happened to “Fair Market Value!” These same banks would not loan on a property based on the same valuation and criteria they are setting for Short Sales. This is a “To Big to Fail” Mentality and the BPO Agents are agreeing to it to get the work!

I attended a mediation hearing for a client, as a service we provide, where I pointed out to the mediator the flaws in the Bank ordered BPO and the Mediator agreed that the instruction to the BPO Agent was a mis-representation of its true value and marked on the Mediation Resolution Form, “BPO was flawed due to mis-representation.” Thus finding that the Bank was acting in bad faith and therefore the “Certificate of Foreclosure,” will not be issued! You also can act on your clients best interest, as well as on the promptings of the GLVAR President and myself that this must stop! This is Aiding and Abetting Fraud perpetuated by these institutions and by doing nothing we are allowing it and seeing homeowners put out on the street! Remember GLVAR is a Self-Policing Entity, that means All of Us are responsible!  Please start reporting Agents that are following these flawed instructions by Fannie Mae or whichever servicing entity has engaged the BPO Agent. Is the money really worth your license?

Below, see our original article published earlier this year. This issue is going to get worse prior to resolution!

A homeowner wanting to do the right thing in relation to working out here situation with her lender, contacted me for assistance.  She explained to me that she is behind in payments and wanted to know her options, at this time.  Mind you this is a very nice home, in a very nice community, however, like many homeowners in today’s distressed market, her circumstances have caused her to become delinquent.  Wells Fargo, the servicing company for Freddie Mac, instructed her that she would have to consider selling the home as a loan modification was not an option due to insufficient income.  Wells Fargo stated they would do a valuation.  They hired an evaluator to provide a Brokers Price Opinion, known in the industry as a BPO.  This BPO / Appraisal as her lender stated, would be necessary for them to re-entertain a loan modification or to establish a sale amount to cover and include unpaid principal, reinstatement fees, back interest, and legal fees.  The Freddie Mac BPO was valued at around $370,000 dollars.  When the homeowner contacted me to discuss listing the property for sale, as she was instructed by Wells Fargo, I was perplexed by the fact that I could not find any comparable “Model Matches” in the entire community or similar models in the surrounding communities that came anywhere close to the banks valuation.  My valuation was more in the range of $280,000 to $290,000 a variance of over $80,000.  This places the homeowner in a potential Short Sale situation, which we are more than happy to assist with and successfully provide for our clients.  However, with the banks valuation I stated that “this over valuation by the bank has to be explained, as Lender BPO’s are done by other professionals in the area.” When I contacted the Homeowner’s bank, not surprisingly, I was declined a copy of the BPO.  However, the homeowner had the contact information for the evaluating agent.  As this industry is small, I knew the BPO Agent, and contacted him directly. With the right connections I was able to obtain a copy of the BPO results and have a conversation with the evaluating Agent. I was taken back by his “Instructions” from the Servicing Company as guidelines for any Freddie Mac backed home.  He stated, “You would never believe how far I had to go outside of the subject properties’ community to find non-distressed comparables.”  This was his specific instructions by the Servicing Company for Freddie Mac, “No Distressed Properties are to be included in the report!”  Placing the comparable homes completely outside of the community. In fact, he mentioned, “The Comps selected were beyond a mile!”  I ask you, How is this a Comp?! This type of activity is completely putting our market, not only here in Nevada, but across the country in turmoil.

What is the motivation behind inflating the price on a non-performing Asset?

We all know for a fact that a Buyer’s appraiser is not going to go by the same parameters and the home will appraise at a lower market value creating several issues;

  • A valuation dispute with the servicing company
  • Delay in the traditional or short sale process
  • Mis-stated information when this BPO / Appraisal valuation is brought to the table during a homeowner’s mediation
  • Buyers being asked to pay the inflated difference in value

If no resolution, the homeowner is left up a creek without a paddle. Without assistance through a short sale most homeowners inevitably end up in foreclosure.  It would seem Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have decided NOT to help homeowners in trouble. Is this the result for homeowners trying to do the right thing?

Who benefits from this inflated BPO that created this mess?

Please understand, though overseen by the Treasury Department, Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae have their  own motivations.  When a Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae backed homes revert to them through either foreclosure, deed-in-lieu, or other means, it is then made available through a variety of venues, for instance Fannie Mae’s HomePath Program (select the HomePath “More Info”). This program does not require appraisals for buyers using it, offers incentives, and offers as much as only 3% down assistance. On the surface this is attractive to the buyer, however, with these incentives they can then over value and oversell the property by 10% to 30% over current market value as stated in the “Related Articles” below. By further controlling the number of homes released to the market and constricting inventory, this inevitably drives up a falsely inflated market. “BUYERS BEWARE” you may be closing on upside down property from the get go. Again, I ask where is the Assistance for the Sellers that fell victim to this same behavior and here it is being condoned by an entity with Government oversight?!  Homeowners must no longer allow banks to have it their way.  This type of mentality that “They are To Big to Deal With,” must change.  Be an informed seller, an educated buyer, and a smart investor. The homeowner in this situation, through Network Assistance Program is taking the steps with us to utilize Nevada’s Foreclosure Mediation Program.  Follow us for more information as this scenario unfolds.  If you find this information useful and applicable to you or others close to you, please contact us and / or share through our social media links.

We can assist you in knowing which is your best option in relation to your real estate needs and we want to help you get the assistance you need to maneuver through this unprecedented Real Estate Market.  Please contact anyone of our Team Members here at Platinum Elite by clicking on our Home Page, email us at Info@PlatinumElite.com or call us at 702-869-9999.

Donald Lainer, Team Lead for Prudential’s Platinum Elite Group

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