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HUD Announces New Short Sale Guidelines for FHA Loans

Posted by Benjamin Dona on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 at 9:29am.

Short Sales and ForeclosuresEffective October 1, 2013 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced the following changes to their Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Short Sale requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

To successfully complete a short sale under the FHA short sale program, the borrowers must meet the following:

  • They cannot list the property with or sell it to anyone with whom they are related or have a close personal or business relationship. In legal terms, it must be an "arm's-length"  transaction. Any knowing violation of the arm's-length requirement may be a violation of federal law.
  • Your mortgage must be in default, on the date the short sale transaction closes.
  • Before closing, any additional liens against the property must be released. A lien holder who demands a payment to release its lien must submit a written statement, and an agreement to release the lien if that amount is paid.

Financial Hardship Validation Requirement

For a standard pre-foreclosure sale, servicers must use a Deficit Income Test (DIT) to determine a homeowner's financial hardship. The IRS Collection Financial Standards will be used to verify homeowners expenses not reflected in their credit report. Only owner-occupied properties are eligible for the standard pre-foreclosure sale.

New Streamlined Short Sale Option

Homeowners eligible for a streamlined short sale may not be required to submit financial information or have a financial hardship. Principal residences, second homes, investment properties and service members who have received Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Orders are potentially eligible.

Property Appraisal

The appraisal of your property should be completed within approximately ten business days. After the appraisal, the short sale file will be updated and prepared for review. In some cases, approval may be required by the investor and/or FHA, which may take more time.

Cash Contribution

As a new condition, you might be required to make a final payment (sometimes called a cash contribution) before, or at, closing. This payment will reduce the deficiency balance.

Borrower's Incentive Compensation

If you are an owner occupant, acting in good faith, and successfully selling your property, you may be eligible for an incentive of up to $3,000. If you are required to make a cash contribution, you are not eligible for this incentive.

Short Sale Contract Addendum

The revised FHA short sale addendum must be signed and dated by all parties. Under this addendum, all parties agree that the subject property must be sold through an arm's-length transaction. An arm's-length transaction is defined as a short sale between two unrelated parties that is characterized by a selling price and other conditions that would prevail in an open market environment. Also, no hidden terms or special understandings can exist between any of the parties (e.g., buyer, seller, appraiser, sales agent, closing agent, and mortgagee) involved in the transaction.

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