Archive for the ‘Short Sale Info’ Category

The Future of Short Sales in Phoenix
November 15, 2011

In these tough economic times we have seen lots of good people who are struggling to make their payments and keep their homes.  Recently I attended a seminar that talked about the future of short sales in the Arizona market.  It was headed by a panel that included executives from Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase and some other well-known people from the financial industry.  The long and the short of it is that short sales are not going away anytime soon.  One of the panel members made the comment that he sees the numbers rising not decreasing in the near future.  We were assured that while there is noshadow inventory” in the Phoenix future, there will be lots of short sales that will continue to affect the market locally.  Another panel member reminded us that a short sale transaction is a settlement of debt, not a relief of debt.  Basically he was saying that lenders are not in the habit or will they be in the habit of approving a short sale if the sellers do not have a true hardship causing them to no longer be able to afford the house.  “Strategic default” was brought up and the bank execs all agreed flat-out, do not submit them because they will not be approved. If you are not familiar with the term strategic default it means that the seller wants to sell because they no longer want to pay on a home that is worth substantially less than what they owe.  This is not what the short sale was intended for and banks made it clear they do not and will not work with these home owners.  One other point that was brought up was that the IRS has recently hired 20,000 new agents and they are going to be primarily be investigating mortgage fraud and the strategic default process.

As for real estate agents, we were encouraged to hear that the banks have stream-lined their short sale process and in many cases are even able to aid the seller in getting out of the home and relocating into a new home but offering a little $$$.  The HAFA and HAMP programs are there and can be a great help for those who qualify.  There are some great articles out there that explain the options to home owners that are in trouble.  One website I highly endorse is shortsalehelp.org  I urge all home owners and agents who work with short sales to educate yourself on the process and keep up to date.  The short sale market is changing rapidly and by the time you read this I am sure that some of the rules have changed.

As with any legal and financial dealings I highly recommend that you not only speak to a reputable real estate attorney but also talk to a CPA that you trust to find out what your financial implications may be.   While we are in an anti-deficiency state here in AZ, you still may have financial implications.  Real estate agents are great to help you market and sell your home but we are not legal or financial experts and should not be relied upon for that purpose.

Below are some links to lending institution web sites that may be helpful if you have a loan with one of them and are looking for answers:

Bank of America

Wells Fargo

Chase

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When Losing a Listing is Good News
March 11, 2010

These days listings are hard to come by and when you lose one it’s rarely good news.  I recently lost one that I was happy about.  My client had been through a very tough time and was about to lose their home.  They had filed for a loan modification but like most, never heard back.  We had listed the home hoping to find a buyer that would give them enough that they could walk away from the house with a little to get started elsewhere.  A few months had passed and the foreclosure date was approaching fast. We decided to drop the price drastically and hope to get a short sale passed through before the house was lost.  At the very last-minute they received notice that their loan was being modified and they are now allowed to stay in the home.  So, this is one time that I am very happy to get to cancel a listing.  Anyone reading this that is in a loan modification program… keep up hope (and prayer).  Keep in constant contact with the lender and maybe, just maybe you will get lucky too!

Possible Good News for Short Sale Victims!
March 2, 2010

In today’s market more and more people are forced to short sale their homes.  I just learned from a highly renowned Real Estate Tax Attorney that there is a little known law on the books that allows for the seller of a short sale to write off their deficiency and back track it 5 years.  This means that if you qualify, you could receive a check from the IRS for overpaid back taxes… that’s right a check BACK from the IRS.  Just to give you a quick overview of what it takes to qualify, the property must have been an investment property (rental property) and the short sale had to happened before the end of 2009.  Most tax accountants will tell you that you can write off the loss over the next 20 years (standard tax law) but under this little known law, you can actually claim the loss on back taxes for the last five years.  If you paid taxes over the last five years you could collect a check from the IRS for over paying taxes NOW! If you are interested in more information about this I you can contact the office of Kingman Winslow toll-free at 866-728-4107 or you can contact Marianne Kingman by email at mkingman@kingmanwinslow.com

I also have great news for people who are candidates for short selling their primary home.  I can show you how you can write off 100% of your deficiency (difference between what is owed and selling price) so you don’t have to pay taxes on that amount either.  Someone may have told you that you don’t have to pay taxes on the deficiency anyway.  Here are the only three exceptions to getting a deficiency relieved: 1. You have not refinanced your home since the time you bought it.  2. If you did refinance the home, ALL of the proceeds (cash out) from the refinance were put back into the home in a remodel or repairs. 3. Your liabilities exceed your assets at the date of sale. In other words you have a negative net worth.  Most people do not qualify but I highly suggest you seek the counsel of someone who knows the laws inside and out.

If you are interested in more information please feel free to contact me via email at TLee@TLeeRealty.com