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Lightstar Short Sales - the premier short sale negotiator.
Lightstar....getting things done , the right way .Every Client - Every Day - Exemplary Service
Testimonials “Chris Hanna, of Lightstar Real Estate Solutions, was contracted by me to do the short sale negotiations on one of my listings. Our company was able to keep the listing, market the home and find a buyer. Chris handled the specifics of the short sale process with both the Seller and Buye...
Chris Hanna Realtor
Tips on How to Write a Short Sale Hardship Letter
Posted by: Admin| Defaulted Mortgages
A letter of hardship is a statement written by a debtor that main goal is to convince a bank or mortgage institution to agree to a short sale of an asset or property. A short sale is the sale of an asset or property for less than the value of mortgage or loan. This sale is a settlement between the debtor and the financial institution that allows the bank to recoup some financial losses associated with bad or defaulted loans. A short sale also allows the debtor to avoid imminent foreclosure. In order to apply for these short sales, the debtor must convince the banking institution of his or her inability to repay the loan or debt. This statement is often made in a letter of hardship.
When writing a letter of hardship, it is important to remember that the primary point of the letter is to convince the financial institution that the debtor, due to certain issues, is not likely to repay the outstanding loan. If the banking institution is properly convinced that the debtor will default on the outstanding loan or mortgage, then they may decide to agree to a short sale of the property or asset. A letter of hardship should be detailed and personal. It should describe the debtor’s current financial situation, listing current income, other loan obligations, and any potential collateral available. The letter should also attempt to explain why the debtor will likely not be able to repay the loan obligation. Remember that the individuals who will decide whether or not to issue a short sale are human. They will be more likely to issue a short sale if the debtor has incurred unforeseen debt or expenses. This unforeseen debt could be related to a death in the family, personal health problems, or any other reason that has led to the unexpected financial stress. The debtor should be honest in a letter of hardship and stress the exact reasons why he or she has fallen behind on their mortgage or loan payments.
It is estimated that loan officers receive forty to fifty applications for a short sale per a day. Less than one short sale is approved for every ten applied for. Oftentimes, a letter of hardship is what separates an approved short sale application from those applications that are denied. The letter should be truthful and personal. There are many real estate companies that offer to write a letter of hardship as part of a short sale package. While these packages are often very professional and the experience of qualified real estate agents is helpful and reassuring, a letter of hardship should only be written by the debtor. This letter should be short, usually under one page. However, there are no set rules. A compelling letter of hardship can often run two or even three pages. The debtor should try to resist the urge to list a set of excuses for his or her current financial situation. Instead, the debtor should focus on concrete reasons for why they have fallen behind on their mortgage or loan payments. Acceptable reasons for falling behind may include the death of a wage earner, unexpected health costs, or the loss of a job. Try to avoid any mention of any unexpected legal fees associated with a criminal defense or personal lawsuit as a reason for the failure to repay a loan or mortgage.
Chris Hanna Realtor
The Basics of “Short Sales”
by Bill Bronchick
You will likely come across dozens of properties in foreclosure with little or no equity, that is, the seller owes at close to or more than the property is worth. In these situations, lenders are sometimes willing to accept less than the full amount due, commonly referred to as a “short pay” or “short sale.”
Negotiating a short sale with the lender is a difficult process, generally because it is a daunting task finding a bank officer who has the authority to accept a discount. You will have to call around to locate the lender’s “Loss Mitigation Department.” More than likely, each lender you deal with will have a separate name for this department, so be patient when calling. Much like getting your phone bill corrected, you can expect the process to involve a lot of waiting on hold and being bounced around an intricate maze of automated voice mail systems. Once you get in touch with the right person, then the negotiating begins.
From the lender’s perspective, a short sale saves many of the costs associated with the foreclosure process - attorney fee's, the eviction process, delays from borrower bankruptcy, damage to the property, costs associated with resale, etc. In a short sale scenario, the lender gets the property back faster, so it is able to cut its losses. Your job as the investor is to convince the lender that it will fare better by accepting less money now.
The lender will want some information about the property, the borrower and the deal he has made with you. Specifically, the lender wants to know what the property is worth. The lender will generally hire a local real estate broker or appraiser to evaluate the property (called a broker’s price opinion or “BPO”). You can also submit your own appraisal or comparable sales information. In addition you will want to offer as much specific negative information about the property as possible. Also, include some relevant information about the neighborhood and the local economy if things are bad (copies of newspaper articles with “bad news” may help). A contract’s bid for repair estimates should also be submitted, which, of course, should be the highest bid you can obtain!
The lender will also ask for financial information about the borrower. Sort of a backwards loan application, the borrower must prove that he is broke and unable to afford the payments. The borrower must show that he has no other source of income or assets to repay the loan. This process may involve as much, if not more paperwork than an original mortgage application! The borrower should submit a “hardship letter”, which is basically a sob story about how much financial trouble the borrower is in. This may require a little literary creativity, and some help on your part. Don’t lie, just paint a picture that doesn’t look good.
Finally, the lender generally wants to see a written contract between you and the seller. The lender wants to make sure the seller isn’t walking away with any cash from the deal. Generally, the contract must be written so that the buyer pays all costs associated with the transaction, so that the “net cash” to the seller is the exact amount of the short pay to the lender. A preliminary HUD-1 settlement statement is often requested, which can be difficult, since many title and escrow companies simple won’t prepare one in advance of closing. You can prepare your own HUD-1, and simply write “preliminary” on the top.
Don’t be surprised if your short sale bid is rejected. Lenders aren’t emotionally attached to their properties, so they aren’t as likely to give you “steal.” Many short sales fall through if the BPO comes in too high, which is often the case. You can’t pull the wool over a lender’s eyes - if the property isn’t is need of serious repair, it is unlikely you can convince the lender the property is worth a whole lot less than the appraised value.
Chris Hanna Realtor
Short Sale Exit Strategies: Exit Before You Enter
by D.C. Fowler
I know what you are thinking... "The title of this article does not make sense. How can you leave a place before you ever even arrive?" Please allow me to take the next few moments to discuss how exiting before entering is not only possible but should be considered as the single most important aspect of a short sale transaction.
The motivation to write this article came from the countless amount of feedback that we have received from our students regarding Short Sale Exit Strategies. I will soon make available more detailed information on specific exit strategies. These will be methods that I strongly suggest you follow depending on your individual geographical market and more importantly your realistic goals and expectations.
For now, what I'm about to share is focused on the importance of making sure that your exit strategy is formulated before you begin the negotiation process. It is counter-productive to do it any other way. Let me explain.
1. The main reason is although your goal is to make a profit, you should always consider the fact that the homeowner is putting a part of their well being in your hands. You do have a moral requirement when doing short sales. The last thing you want to do is put an individual or family in a risky or uncompromising position. Suppose you don't close the deal? Who does it affect more? Therefore, it's extremely essential that you have a game plan before you assume that type of responsibility.
2. The next reason is that once you have the acceptance letter in your hands you will be working with a limited amount of time. You will want to spend your time working on your next deal or preparing the house for sale or rent, not putting together your exit strategy. Be proactive not reactive.
3. Lastly, if you determine what your exit strategy will be ahead of time and begin putting it together you are more likely to close your deal for maximum profit within a timely fashion (45 days max.). It's always possible that the deal falls through your hands because of lack of preparation.
All three of these reasons help to justify the importance of a well thought out plan. What's the purpose of getting the acceptance letter if you can't close?
I also want to remind you that you are not allowed to assign a short sale. So if you expect to negotiate the deal and then pass it on to another investor don't waste your time. It will always be stated on your acceptance that the agreement is not transferable or assignable, therefore you must come up with another option if you want to do a quick sale of the property. I've shared a few creative ideas related to quick sales or flips that has worked for a select few individual investors. I'll also be sharing these ideas with you in the near future.
Too many times investors make the mistake of going through the entire negotiating process without even considering what the possible options are for the property. I emphasize the "s" because one of the major benefits of exiting before entering is that you will often come up with multiple exit strategies. You increase the chances of having more than one way to profit from your hard work.
I personally feel that it gives me more of an edge as I begin my discussions with the lender. I also gain a better understanding of my earning potential because I've taken the time to estimate the numbers based on what exit strategy I'm using. All exit strategies do not breed the same amount of return. Consequently, you may find that although it is possible for you to negotiate the short sale it may not be a deal worth pursuing. There may not be enough profit on the table once you exit or the deal is just too risky for you to invest in.
Those of you who are attempting multiple short sales at a time will especially find that exiting before entering will help to ensure that all of your deals are prioritized and that your time is always spent on the deals that will close the fastest and yield the most profit. There are multiple facets to short sale exit strategies and it would be impossible to address all areas in this one article. However, we will continue to share information, strategies, and techniques that will open the door to many more discussions and helpful articles. Until next time.
Chris Hanna Realtor
WHEN TO CONSIDER A SHORT SELL FOR YOUR HOME
Written by Lisa Treu
Falling behind on a mortgage payment and fearing foreclosure is a stressful way to spend those precious few last months in a home. If there are no options for keeping a home, sometimes the best solution may be to consider a short sale.
One of the significant benefits of considering this route instead of foreclosure is that legal problems, such as a lawsuit filed against the homeowner by the bank may be avoided. Additionally, although a short sale does result in the loss of a home, the process often offers a less-stressful way to overcome a mortgage that can't be paid.
WHEN TO CONSIDER A SHORT SALE
The best time to consider a short sale is before the point of no return -- nearing foreclosure and mortgage default. When a borrower realizes that the payments on the mortgage may soon become impossible, the idea of a short sale is an important consideration. Economic circumstances are the most common reason why a borrower might need to look into a short sale; however, issues like a move or a family problem that requires the borrower to relocate may influence the sales decision.
A borrower must convince the lender that catching up on payments is a virtual impossibility before a short sale will be approved. It's essential for homeowners who are late on payments or who will soon become unable to cover the mortgage work swiftly to determine whether a short sale is feasible.
ISSUES THAT PREVENT SHORT SALE
Before embarking on a potential short sale, a seller needs to understand that there are two issues that will prevent this type of sale from occurring. If a seller decides to pursue bankruptcy, a short sale is not possible because collection activity is halted with a bankruptcy filing. A short sale is considered collection activity.
Secondly, a homeowner who has defaulted on a home loan will not be approved for a short sale. This means that a seller has a finite amount of time before a short sale because unfeasible. Activities involving short sales must commence before default has occurred.
REASONS FOR LENDER AGREEMENT
It may sound incredible that a lender would allow a homeowner to sell his property for a greatly reduced price and take a loss on the profits offered through a standard mortgage, but the time and expense of a foreclosure tends to eclipse that of a short sale.
Lenders are inclined to avoid foreclosure activity since a foreclosure doesn't just make a homeowner look bad. A foreclosure also makes a lender seem as though they don't approve mortgages to borrowers who will be able to pay back the debt.
OVERVIEW OF THE SHORT SALE PROCESS
Requesting a short sale from a lender or bank is no guarantee that the sale will be approved. Preparing financial documents and letters before starting the process is essential. However, homeowners shouldn't take too long to figure out whether a short sale is the best solution.
Common steps in the short sale process include the following:
LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION:
This notarized letter is required by the lender so that potential sales discussions may commence with buyers or real estate agents.
This is a letter detailing why you can no longer make your mortgage payments, and it should be addressed to your lender. They need to see that a borrower's financial situation makes repayment of the mortgage impossible. This means a borrower can't have any assets or cash, such as savings and retirement accounts that may be sold to pay the mortgage.
A home with a low appraisal often serves the borrower best, but the bank must be convinced that it will lose money in any type of sale due to market conditions.
CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS AND SETTLEMENT:
All parties involved in the short sale process must sign documents and the bank must create a settlement sheet that details the financial losses expected of the sale.
CONSIDER A SHORT SALE FOR YOUR HOME
No homeowner wants to face the prospect of foreclosure, and a short sale that results in the loss of a home is just as emotionally challenging. However, undertaking a short sale may be the most expedient method for relieving an indebted homeowner of mortgage debt that cannot be paid.
Chris Hanna Realtor
Lightstar Real Estate Solutions has closed another Short Sale , loaded with obstacles , and the fluidity of the process is never short of a challenge .
But the persistence and expertise of what we do ultimately leads to a successful closing , we will always keep you in the loop , and your file never goes dormant , Please keep us in mind for a short sale if the opportunity arises . We are unique in what we do , a contrast to other competing short sale companies ..
No up front fees , or a retainer fee , we are compensated at closing ..
Thanks again for all of your support
Lightstar Short Sales
4550 W Tilghman St
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