Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)

Real Estate Agent with Dominion Real Estate Partners

For those of us selling homes in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, short sales are a simple fact of life. In some newer communities, homes built in 2006 for example, almost every single one has entered the re-sale market a distress sale of one kind or another.

We all know how frustrating it can be when banks take up to 7 months to respond to an offer, by which time the buyer has likely already purchased something else. Frustrating for seller, buyer and agent alike. Hopefully, that is about to change.

On April 5th 2010, the above mentioned program, known as HAFA, came into effect. On its face, it seems to be a step in the right direction. Participating banks, and that is almost all of them, agree to abide by established time frames for responding to offers and for determining the net proceeds they desire from a short sale. If they do not comply, they will be ousted from the program.

It is quite involved so I suggest you Google it, but here are some highlights. For the Realtor, it prohibits the bank from reducing the commission. For the seller, they will be absolved of the debt without any judgements or promissory notes allowed. The seller may also receive $1500 for re-location. (Quick translation; relocation= not trashing the joint.) The bank also receives a financial incentive for following the guide-lines.

All in all, it seems to be a win-win situation. So why am I concerned? I search the MLS every day for various clients, often in areas that are chock full of short sales. Since this program was announced, of all the short sales I have reviewed, only ONE has mentioned HAFA. This is tragic. This means that there are hundreds of agents out there who have the listings, but do not have the faintest idea of how to process them within the new frame work. It is tragic because what is, or was, an extremely difficult process no loner needs to be. If the agents don't know about it, do the banks? If a great idea fell in the forest, and no one was there to hear it...

I am curious to hear opinions on the from professionals across the country. Maybe it's just my area. What say you?

Comments (1)

Joe Harvey
Lake Worth Real Estate - Lake Worth, FL

I have a Bank Directed Listing Program with HAFA and Saxon Mortgage in your area. Let me know iof you are interested and send me your regular email address to


Check out my blogs as well for more info

Jul 13, 2010 04:59 AM