“Too often, the anxiety associated with missed mortgage payments and the fear of putting trust into the wrong hands, causes homeowners who are heading toward foreclosure to avoid seeking help or pursuing a short sale,” Simmons said.
Distressed homeowners in Atlanta can now take advantage of historically unprecedented cash incentives to sell the home they can’t afford. Because of the unique nature of today’s Atlanta market, new bank and government programs pay relocation incentives to homeowners who undergo a foreclosure alternative – most commonly short sales.
A short sale occurs when the current market value of a home is worth less than what is owed on a mortgage and a real estate agent assists the financially strapped homeowner in negotiating with the lender to accept a loan payoff that is less than the amount owed. “While lenders, such as Bank of America, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo, were once reluctant to negotiate short sales, the current glut of foreclosed Atlanta properties on their books has prompted an aggressive push to mitigate losses, and some are even paying Atlanta homeowners significant cash incentives to make a fresh start on their lives after the close of the short sale,” Simmons explained.
“The costs incurred in a foreclosure include maintaining the vacant property and advertising the property themselves. Typically, the home sells for less than it does in a short sale,” says Caroline Simmons. “For the banks, this is a case of simple math.”
Because of this disparity, Bank of America, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo and most major banks offer thousands of dollars in order to entice distressed homeowners into proactively seeking a solution.
“The great part about this for homeowners is that a short sale often ends up being better on credit reports than a foreclosure, so receiving cash is just a bonus they receive for engaging in a solution that helps them out in the long run,” said Caroline Simmons.
Under the FHA Pre-foreclosure program, distressed homeowners can receive up to $1,000 after the successful short sale of the property. While HAFA, generally used for loan guarantee through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, homeowners may receive up to $3,000 upon completing a short sale. Bank of America, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo all offer thousands of dollars in cash incentives for in-house programs, and some amounts can go as high as $30,000.
Caroline Simmons is an Associate Broker with Keller Williams Realty specializing in short sales in the metro Atlanta area, including Dekalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Henry, Clayton and other Georgia counties. Her knowledgeable of the entire landscape of foreclosure avoidance options makes her distinctly qualified to assist financially strapped homeowners negotiate with banks to regain peace of mind and a sense of stability for the future.