On April 5th, a new government program will be implemented to help distressed owners stay in their homes - HAFA. HAFA stands for Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives. This plan is for homeowners who failed to qualify for HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program) and is a new program under the Treasury-created HAMP umbrella. (Watch a short video on HAFA at my website)
According to HAFA guidelines, distressed borrowers will be given $1,500 to be used for relocation. This is an added incentive for the borrower to short sale their property as the program outlines that the borrower should short sale their home using a Short Sale Agreement form provided by the government.
The logic behind having homeowners short sell their properties (as opposed to letting the home go back to the bank as a foreclosure) is to curtail vandalism, deterioration, and other problems associated with lack of ongoing maintenance. Ergo, the $1,500.
For a loan to be considered as HAFA-eligible, the following criteria must be met:
- The property is the borrower's principal residence
- The mortgage is a first lien mortgage originating on or before January 1, 2009
- The mortgage is delinquent or foreseeably delinquent
- The current unpaid balance is equal or less than $729,750
- The borrowers monthly mortgage payment exceeds 31 percent of the borrower's gross income
Servicers must consider HAMP eligible borrowers for HAFA within 30 calendar days if the borrower:
- Does not qualify for trial period plan
- does not successfully complete a trial period plan
- is delinquent on a HAMP modification missing at least two consecutive payments
- requests a short sale or DIL (deed in lieu of foreclosure).