HAP, where are you?
HAP is the Homeowner Assistance Program for U.S. military members “who face financial loss” when selling their homes in order to PCS, or "permanent change of station" to a new base. In other words, if you are an airman stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field or any other base and you have “orders” to move and your mortgage amount is more than the current value of your home- HAP is supposed to help you. HAP was meant to help cover a significant portion of your losses so you can dispose of your real estate to PCS, even if you are upside-down in your mortgage, without facing foreclosure.
But what is HAP doing? I am sorry to say- NOTHING! Thousands of servicemen have applied for help and many have already relocated - with no financial assistance. I have written a series of posts with information every time I get updates about the HAP program. Each time I write a new blog, HAP changes its story and so far has done NOTHING to help upside-down Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field airmen who are forced to relocate to new bases. On a previous blog I posted a link to the Department of Defense Directive that detailed the new HAP policy for PCS moves. When I checked the blog links about a week later- I found the information had been REMOVED from the HAP site. Further, the HAP site used to have an expanded FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section that answered many questions about the new PCS help. Those questions have been since REMOVED. But not before I quoted them in another post.
Our military members are good citizens and purchased homes when they moved to Eglin AFB or Hurlburt Field. Now, forced to PCS, they are faced with a choice:
1. Rent out their property, for an amount insufficient to cover their mortgage payment, due to declining rentals. Most military do not have enough to cover the shortfall.
2. Let the property go to foreclosure.
3. Do a short sale.
4. Bring money to closing to cover the loss- highly unlikely since most Fort Walton Beach, Crestview and Navarre Florida homes purchased in the last few years are $100,000 or more upside-down.
5. Wait for HAP while doing any of the above.
When HAP finally puts an assistance policy in place, these servicemen may get reimbursed part of the loss on their upside-down mortgages. But my question is- what good is a reimbursement after a lender has foreclosed or a short sale has been completed? By the time HAP starts working, it would be too late. There will already be a hit on the airmen’s credit. HAP representatives have suggested to me that the affected homeowner “borrow” an amount sufficient to cover the loss in a short sale, then wait for HAP funds. My question – "HOW can an airman who earns $50,000 borrow a $100,000 note to “cover” an upside-down mortgage?" He cannot.
HAP, you’ve got to help… NOW.
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-ITS-WNDY (1-877-487-9639) or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy to sell your home or buy a home: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Wendy Rulnick, Broker/Owner Rulnick Realty, to list and sell your home or condo on the Emerald Coast of Florida in Walton, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa County- Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Crestview, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field. Wendy is a short sale and pre-foreclosure specialist and has been featured in "Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine" and "Florida Realtor Magazine".