Government's New Rules--Short Sales to Get Approved Faster

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Why You Need to Know About the New Rules for Faster “Short Sale” Turn Around Times! 


The horror stories are everywhere.  Short-sale approvals have dragged on and on.  Borrowers and real estate agents don’t hear a peep from anyone.  Clients give up and let the home go into foreclosure. 

That’s all in the past (we hope) and the new short-sale timeline process has changed effective June 25, 2012. 

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have introduced policies to expedite the pre-foreclosure sale process.

Now, mortgage servicers must follow the policies outlined for all conventional mortgage loans held in either agency’s portfolio. Servicers are “encouraged” to follow these requirements with respect to mortgage loans sold to either Fannie or Freddie, including FHA, VA and USDA loans they may have purchased.

Knowledge is power and by knowing the required timelines to process a short sale approval, you’ll be able to challenge those lenders who are dragging their feet and not getting the job done. 

Here’s the short version: 

  • Established maximum required response times for pre-foreclosure sale offers submitted for consideration
  • Requires servicers to provide borrowers with status updates during the evaluation process, and
  • Allows servicers to respond to unsolicited pre-foreclosure sale offers without first requiring an evaluation


Here’s the long version: 

There are 3 types of short sales that are covered and different time lines for each:

1.    Evaluation of Borrower Response Package –


o   3 days – notify client they have received their request


o   5 days – determine what documents are missing


o   30 days – determine if they will allow short sale


o   60 days – prepare documents for client to sign


o   Client has 14 days to accept or reject the agreement


o   Optional 10 day extension at client’s request



2.    Short Sale without Short Sale Agreement


o   10 days – Mortgage company must respond with approval or denial


o    5 days – Given to borrower to respond, if short sale offer is made


o   10 days – If borrower makes a counter offer, Mortgage Company must respond in 10 days.



3.    Pre-foreclosure Sale Received with Borrower Response Package


o   3 days – Notify client they have received their request


o   5 days – determine what documents are missing


o   30 days – respond with an approval; approval with conditions; deny; counter-offer; or still under review.


o    5 days – If the offer is “deny with counteroffer”, borrower to respond with decision of the counteroffer


o   10 days – When client responds, must communicate response with counter offer.


o   30 days – If response is “still under review”, and extension of 30 days is allowed, however, mortgage company must give weekly status reports to borrower


o   60 days – Of first request, servicers must respond with final decision. 


Note:  These are “business days” and not “calendar days”.


This is a good thing for the housing market.  Right now there is a backlog of homes and borrowers that could benefit from a quicker path to a short sale as a foreclosure alternative, as well as myriad processes and paperwork – but no accountability or service that the servicer is obligated to follow on a consistent basis. 


Knowing the new short sale timelines can help you get your deal closed faster & challenge the servicers if not met.


This new requirement from the agencies provides a single point of contact for the homeowner wishing to find alternatives to foreclosure.  It provides a clear path for all parties involved, and a defined timeline where one can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. 


Short sales, pre-foreclosure sales and foreclosures are already an emotional and frightening experience for most folks, and these new standards set by Fannie and Freddie for the servicers will now be required to meet deadlines for the steps required to qualify and be approved for a short sale.


I hate to be “Debbie Downer”, but one thing is missing from this new short-sale timeline rule—there are not penalties or repercussions if these timelines are not followed! 

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Comments (4)

JOSH EVANS *JoshEvansHomes 516-655-5000
Village Properties of Mineola, LLC - Mineola, NY
Great blog and great job. Keep up the good work and good luck to you this year. Thanks.
May 14, 2012 11:00 PM
Karen Deis - Minneapolis, MN
When In-house training is not enough!

Thanks Josh and I hope it helps get more short sales approved and more homes sold! 

May 14, 2012 11:18 PM
Lisa Dinsdale


I am a R.E. broker in Oregon and have been facillitating short sales for some time now.  I've found that none of the lenders I am currently communicating with have been complying with the new short sale ruling.  Are these new rules enforeable and if so how can I take action?


Aug 27, 2012 04:36 AM
Karen Deis - Minneapolis, MN
When In-house training is not enough!

It applies if its a loan either sold to Fannie or Freddie. 

Fannie's Rule can be found in Announcement SVC - 2012-7 and went into effect on June 25, 2012

Freddie's Rule can be found Bulleting 2012-9 that went into effect on June 15, 2012.

Suggest you Google and forward the copy of the rule and threaten to file a complaint with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.

Unfortunately, there were no penalties for non-compliance...BUMMER. 

Aug 27, 2012 06:01 AM