Homeowners who are underwater with their mortgage may find that relief is on the way from a bill strongly supported by the National Association of Realtors® that would impose a deadline on lenders to respond to short-sale requests.
The legislation, H.R. 6133, “Prompt Decision for Qualification of Short Sale Act of 2010,” was offered yesterday in Congress by U.S. Reps. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) and Tom Rooney (R-Fla.). The bill would require lenders to respond to consumer short sale requests within 45 days.
“The short sale, which requires lender approval, is an important instrument for homeowners who owe more than their home is worth,” said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates in Tucson, Ariz. “While the lending community has worked to improve the size and training of their short sales staffs, they still have a long way to go on improving response times.”
“As the leading advocate for homeownership issues, NAR believes that quicker attention to the short sales process is vital to help homeowners who are underwater and their communities, as well as the nation’s economy,” said Golder.
The number of potential short sale properties is rising across the country. According to NAR data, in the second quarter of 2010, Nevada, California, Florida and Arizona are states where significant shares of all properties on the market are potential short sales: 32 percent, 28 percent, 27 percent and 24 percent, respectively.
“Unfortunately, homeowners who need to execute a short sale are severely hampered because lenders (loan servicers) are unable to decide whether to approve a short sale within a reasonable amount of time. Potential homebuyers are walking away from purchasing short sale property because the lender has taken many months and still not responded to their request for an approval of a proposed short sale price. Many consumers have mentioned that the delay in short sale price approval exceeds 90 days, and in many cases never arrives,” Golder said.
She commended Reps. Andrews and Rooney for their efforts on the bill and urged Congress to pass the bill quickly.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
Washington, September 16, 2010