Short Sale Information
Distressed homeowners still have time to take advantage of program to avoid foreclosure.
The signs that we’re headed toward a permanent real estate recovery are almost everywhere. From rising home prices to a significant increase in equity sales, the Santa Clarita Valley real estate market feels like it used to…almost.
While we’re seeing reductions in foreclosures, bank sales, and short sales, there are still homeowners out there who are struggling as a result of the now infamous “Great Recession” that struck many hard half a decade ago. As a result, we’re still seeing property owners who aren’t out of the woods yet. We’re still encountering homeowners whose financial situations are still in flux, or have mortgages that still outweigh the value of their properties. These are good people who have done their best to hang on for as long as possible, but may be headed toward foreclosure.
Mortgage Debt Relief Act
We have discussed the Mortgage Debt Relief Act in detail before, but in a nutshell, this program allows homeowners who have sold their properties via a short sale in an effort to avoid foreclosure the opportunity to be “forgiven” for the tax burden that used to accompany the difference between the sale price of their property and the amount of the mortgage note they held. This act was passed in 2007 and was originally set to expire on December 31st , 2012. At the beginning of this year, the act was extended to December 31st, 2013. There is no information as to whether the program will continue beyond that date. With the economic recovery headed toward more positive directions, the possibilities of extension are slim at this point. Continue reading
Homeowner Protections Signed Into Law
This law has been praised by consumer advocates, but criticized by the lending industry. Its protections are necessary in light of recent national economic events that have often put homeowners at the mercy of their home mortgage lending servicer without much recourse. The law insures accountability on behalf of lenders and closes some loopholes in other areas regarding the buying, selling and renting of real estate as well.
Here is a summary of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights
Restriction on Dual Tracking Foreclosure
Prior to January 1, 2013, a homeowner could still face foreclosure by the lender holding the mortgage deed even during loan modification negotiations. Many times a homeowner would receive a loan mod, only to then also receive a Notice of Default against his property. This restriction on dual tracking insures that the foreclosure will be postponed while the loan modification is under review.
Guaranteed Single Point of Contact
The California Homeowner Bill of Rights guarantees that, in the event of a loan modification proceeding, the homeowner will have only one point of contact. This relieves frustration on the part of the homeowner who, in the past, may have ended up with a different point of contact every time he called his lender regarding his loan modification. This provision will be insured that one person or a team at the bank will know the facts of their case, has their paperwork, and can get them a decision about their application for a loan modification.
Verification of Documents
Also known as “robo-signing,” the California Homeowner Bill of Rights provides a civil penalty of up to $7,500 per loan for any violation wherein a lender files and records unverified loan documents.
Borrowers can now seek “redress of ‘material’ violations” of the foreclosure process; meaning they can now sue their loan servicer for any violations they may have made during the foreclosure process.
Buyers of foreclosed properties are now required by the California Homeowner Bill of Rights to give tenants living in the property at least 90 days before beginning eviction proceedings. If the tenant was under a fixed-term lease at the time of the foreclosure, the new buyer must honor the terms of that lease.
Tools to Prosecute Mortgage Fraud
Prior to January 1, 2013, the statute of limitations to prosecute mortgage fraud and mortgage-related crimes was one year. The California Homeowner Bill of Rights extends that statute to three years, and provides the Attorney General’s office the ability to use a statewide grand jury in the prosecution of anyone accused of financial crimes in multiple California counties.
Tools to Curb Blight
The California Homeowner Bill of Rights provides additional recourse against blight caused by vacant homes in a neighborhood. This includes providing homeowners more time to remedy code violations, and also provides penalties for homeowners of foreclosed properties to pay for maintenance and upkeep.
What questions do you have about the California Homeowner Bill of Rights? Feel free to contact us using the form below.Email Contact Form
Tax Relief Act For Short Sales and Foreclosures In Effect Until 2014
Originally passed in 2007, the Mortgage Debt Relief Act gives homeowners who short sell their property the opportunity to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. Debt reduced through mortgage refinancing or loan modification, as well as mortgage debt forgiven in connection with a foreclosure, qualifies under this act as well.
The Mortgage Debt Relief Act originally applied to debt forgiven between the calendar years 2007 through 2012. Up to $2 million of forgiven debt is eligible under this act, or $1 million if married filing separately. This will not apply if the forgiveness of debt is due to services performed for the mortgage company or lender, or any other reason not directly related directly to a decline in property value or the homeowner’s financial status.
How Does the Mortgage Debt Relief Act Affect Someone Facing Foreclosure?
In a nutshell, if you are upside down on your mortgage and are potentially facing foreclosure, you will not be liable for the taxes due on the difference between the final selling price of your home, and your home loan amount (provided the loan amount is larger than the selling price of your home), if you short sell your property.
Remember also that the benefits of short selling rather than allowing the bank to foreclose on your property are rather sizable They include:
- No out-of-pocket costs normally associated with the sale of your home including realtor commissions, title fees, escrow fees and closing costs.
- The ability to purchase a home much more quickly (as little as 2 years) under qualifying conditions versus 7 years if you allow your home to fall into foreclosure.
Questions about the Mortgage Debt Relief Act? Contact us now!
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Capital Gains Rates to Remain the Same
There has been some misconceptions as to whether the capital gains tax rates will change under the “Fiscal Cliff”
negotiations. As of now, they have remained the same. In other words, capital gains rates of up to $250,000 for single persons, and $500,000 for married persons are exempt from taxation under the current law that was enacted during the Clinton Administration. This means that if a married couple sells a property, up to $500,000 of the profits from the sale of that home are tax exempt*.
*It is always best to consult your tax professional with regard to any questions regarding how taxes are applied to your finances.
Questions about capital gains or the real estate market? Contact us now!Email Contact Form
Are you considering a short sale? NOW IS THE TIME!!! Why is now the time???
With the Mortgage Debt Relief Act expiring at the end of December, there is a lot of uncertainty with how future short sales will be handled. If the act is extended, which in reality does not have to be decided on until the end of next year, then everything will be “Business as Usual.” BUT, if it is not, people who do not complete their short sales before the end of the year could possibly face being taxed with the full amount of the loss!
The only thing consistent about the extension is the fact that it is inconsistent. So, do not let the bank or the government dictate your financial future. Call Montemayor and Associates now to get a FREE private consultation and see what your options are. If you want to keep your home, we can help you with that as well. We look forward to getting the opportunity to help make your life a little bit easier. Contact us soon as time is running out. Direct 661-510-2789 Website: www.Bringingyouhomescv.com
When it comes to getting your short sale approved, there are a ton of factors that come in to play. One of the most important ones is making sure you submit a complete and comprehensive package to the bank. As a CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert), our success rate is higher than the average agent, and sometimes as high as 50% higher! The reason it is higher is because we know what the bank wants to see and how they want to see it.
At Montemayor and Associates, we have a department that specializes in short sales and gives you the time and dedication you deserve and need to get your short sale approved in the shortest period of time with the best results.
Call us if you have any questions or would like more information: 661-510-2789 or www.bringingyouhomescv.com
Despite the news about what might be considered the beginnings of a recovery in the real estate market, many homeowners are still hurting and are upside down on their mortgage. Rather than just walk away from your home and mortgage, and suffer the effects of having a foreclosure on your record, we urge you to call us first for a free, no obligation consultation.
We pride ourselves on giving homeowners the real deal when they are faced with situations as described above. We want to make sure you are being steered in the right direction, and that if your lender or another loan modification company is advising you to skip mortgage payments in an effort to better position yourself for a short sale or a loan mod, we will make sure you understand the risks and ramifications of that advice, and guide you to a proper solution that will satisfy you.
Also noteworthy is that our short sale services are provided absolutely FREE OF CHARGE! Your lender pays our fees. Remember, short sales are subject to lender qualification and approval, but we will make sure you have everything you need to move forward, and do our best to fight for you in an effort to help you avoid foreclosure on your home.
We’re letting anyone who may be behind on their mortgage or are facing foreclosure that certain banks are now paying substantial sums to sellers who avoid foreclosure through the short sale process.
Depending on the lender,qualified homeowners who sell their home through a short sale are receiving on average around $3,000 directly from their lender after the transaction closes. We have found however, that some banks are providing an even higher dollar amount to qualified short sellers.
This is due in large part to the fact that it costs banks tens of thousands of dollars (The HIGH tens) to foreclose on a property. Even though, in an approved short sale, they are technically losing money based on the value of the property being short sold, it is substantially less than the cost of a foreclosure on their books.
We have the answers to your questions. If you or someone you know may be facing foreclosure, give us a call at 661-510-2789, or go to http://bringingyouhomescv.com.
What is the Mortgage Debt Relief Act?
The Mortgage Debt Relief Act generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. Debt reduced through mortgage restructuring, as well as mortgage debt forgiven in connection with a foreclosure, qualifies for the relief.
Yes, the IRS makes it sound pretty boring and perhaps even a bit unclear. Basically, the MDRA is a program that has been put in place to allow homeowners who have had to short sell their property to exclude the difference between the dollar amount their home was sold for vs. what their loan was worth. So for example, you short sold your home for $250,000, but your bank loan balance was $400,000 at the time you short sold your home, you would not have to include the difference as an asset or income on your tax return.
BUT…There are a few exceptions and limitations:
Up to $2 million may be excluded ($1 million if married filing separately.
Also, the loan must qualify as a purchase money loan, also known as “qualified principal residence indebtedness”. This means that the money from the loan was used to purchase or refinance the residence itself. Some refinance loans where money was taken out of equity to be used for items or services OTHER than home repair or upgrades may not qualify. Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC), and refinance loans where the money taken out was used for vacations or personal purchases may not qualify. However, we have been successful in getting the banks to allow these in certain cases. Contact us if you have questions about purchase money loans.
It is always best to check with your accountant or tax professional prior to making any final decisions or acting upon any information involving taxable (or non-taxable) income. You can also contact us with your questions and we’ll help guide you in the right direction.
So what does this mean to you?
It means that, in most cases, if you are upside down on your loan you may qualify for under the Mortgage Debt Relief Act to avoid paying taxes on the outstanding loan amount of your property if you are in a situation where you must short sell your home to avoid foreclosure.
If you (or someone you know) is upside down on their mortgage and are facing foreclosure, give us a call at 661-290-3802, or go to http://bringingyouhomescv.com to learn how we can help save your home from the bank.
We talk a lot about short sales because they are still very prevalent in today’s real estate market. Many homeowners who had survived up to this point by avoiding foreclosure are finding themselves in more and more difficult positions in trying to keep up with mortgage payments on an upside down loan.
One of the biggest (and unfounded) fears for homeowners regarding short sales is that they will have to pay out-of-pocket expenses to close escrow once a buyer is found and the short sale is approved by the lender. This sometimes leads to procrastination and, ultimately, the homeowner loses their home to the bank in foreclosure.
Here’s the deal: In almost ALL cases, THE HOMEOWNER PAYS NO FEES in an approved short sale. That means exactly that…NO FEES, and that includes realtor commissions.
There are some rare instances where your lender may want some sort of repayment for loans taken out against the original mortgage including second loans or Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) where the equity money accessed was used for personal means. In many cases however, we have been able to convince the bank to forgo these charges against the homeowner during the short sale negotiation and escrow process.
Remember that in order to begin to qualify for a short sale, your home mortgage loan must be worth more than the value of your home, and the homeowner has to prove financial hardship. If you are in over your head, facing financial hardship, or heading toward foreclosure, we can help answer all of your questions to determine if you may qualify for a short sale. Go to http://bringingyouhomescv.com for details, or call us for a confidential, no obligation needs analysis as 661-290-3802. We’re here to help.
We talk a lot about short sales because they are still prevalent in today’s real estate market. Expectations are that they will remain prevalent at least for another few years.
That being said, we want to remind you of a few important items regarding short sales, so that if you or someone you know is in a distressed financial situation, you have the information at your disposal to help make decisions in avoiding foreclosure.
First up is the Unemployment Forbearance Plan as introduced by Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation). The Unemployment Forbearance Plan that requires mortgage service providers to provide up to six months relief for anyone whose financial hardship is affected due to unemployment. Relief can come in a forbearance (temporary relief of payment) or special reduction in interest rate or mortgage payment for a set period of time. In special circumstances, this program may be extended for up to one year on approved cases.
Another big change that has come from Freddie Mac is that they have changed the rules regarding postponement of foreclosure sale dates. The following comes directly from a bulletin they have issued to all service providers and real estate brokers:
Servicers must obtain Freddie Mac’s approval to postpone a foreclosure sale on any mortgage that is greater than 12 months delinquent.
In the past, even if a homeowner was more than 12 months delinquent, as long as a short sale had an offer in from a buyer and it was pending approval from the lender, a postponement of the foreclosure sale could usually happen even if the sale date was very close.
Under these new rules, Freddie Mac has made it tougher for homeowners who are more than 12 months delinquent to avoid a foreclosure sale UNLESS the short sale already has an approved offer from a buyer AND has been approved by the lender.
If you know you’re having trouble making your mortgage payments, or know that you can no longer make them because of a financial hardship, call us as soon as possible. We are experienced in handling situations like this with discretion, compassion, and have the skills to help you avoid foreclosure. However, the longer you wait, the tougher it is to make things happen. We are here to help. For more information, go to http://bringingyouhomescv.com, or call us directly at 661-290-3802 for a confidential consultation.