FHA’s Back-to-Work Program Helps Foreclosed Owners Get Second Chance

upside down house

FHA’s Back-to-Work Program Helps Foreclosed Owners Get Second Chance


Foreclosed owners in Ocala/Marion County can get a second chance at homeownership sooner rather than later. The Federal Housing Administration recently announced the shortening of the waiting period for qualified borrowers who had a bankruptcy, foreclosure,  deed in lieu of foreclosure, or short sale who are in the market to buy again. To qualify under the FHA’s Back-to-Work Program homeowners must show that they have their finances back in order and they must receive counseling from a HUD-approved agency. The counselors provides borrowers with household budgets and customized action plans showing them how to manage money and financial obligations to prevent future failures.The details of the program claim if the buyer meet the criteria they can apply to buy a property in as little as a year.

“The Back to Work program is a great opportunity for us to help those impacted by the recent housing crisis,” Heather Shanahan, a representative with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency      called Springboard, told HousingWire. “Our goal in our counseling sessions is to enable the borrower to better understand their loan options and the obligations.” I think what gets lost in many of these programs is the fact that many, if not most, did not make the decision to make bad financial decisions. There were many factors that played a role in the recent economic downturn and unfortunately many Americans paid the financial price. FHA, Fannie Mae and many other lending institutions created the mess by offering loans that were not safe for themselves or the public they were offering them too.

I have said before and i will say again, “Low down loans did not lead to the housing boom and eventual bust!” It was the exotic 1-2-3 A-R-M loans, No Income Verification and on and on. It was so easy to get a home, anyone could and most did! With the added demand the prices skyrocketed over a few short years. Then the A-R-M loans started coming due and the values were not there and the job market slowed or died all together. It was simply a bad combination for many Americans and I hope more programs will come along to help folks become homeowners again soon.

Want to learn more about one of these programs? Contact Me Today 352-572-1739

Shorts Sale and Foreclosure SOLD in 2013 Could Owe Federal Income Taxes

Are You Thinking About Trying to Sell Your Home via Short Sale or Considering Walking Away?

Uncle Sam is still giving homeowners until Dec. 31st 2012, to go through the short sale or foreclosure without tax consequences-AS LONG AS THE LENDER RELEASES THE DEBT. But on January 1, 2013 the rules change: The amount the lender forgives, for either short sale or foreclosure, on primary residence will be taxable on federal income taxes.

Example: If a house sold $50,000 short of what is owed on the mortgage, then the selling homeowners will owe federal income taxes on that $50,000. Homeowners would owe $12,500 if they’re in the 25 percent bracket; $7,500 if in the 15 percent tax section. Homeowners would be on the hook even if the house sold but the bank had not formally forgiven the loan in a letter: THE BANKS MUST OFFICIALLY SIGN OFF IN WRITING BEFORE DEC. 31, 2012

Homeowners declaring bankruptcy could escape paying income taxes on any cancellation of debt income if the debt is forgiven in the bankruptcy even if the debtor is solvent, said Nick Jovanovich, a board certified tax attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL..

In Short…

Homeowners should decided sooner than later this year to begin whichever process they chose to avoid the tax law changes coming in 2013. Short sales can takes months to years depending on lender, type of mortgage, market activity and many other variables. Contact a local REALTOR for more information on the services they can provide to assist in your decision.

Some major lenders are offering quicker short sale programs as an alternative to foreclosure. Owners benefit from reduced documentation and smoother processing.

In some cases, owners may be eligible for cash incentives from a couple thousand dollars to upwards of $30,000.

“Until Next Time”

Thinking About Buying A Foreclosure, Short Sale or Auction Property?

Before Buying a Foreclosure, Short Sale, or Auction Property: 3 Things to Think About

There can be great bargains in buying a foreclosure, short sale, or auction property but buyers need to proceed with caution. Many of these types of homes can be purchased at 20-40% less than traditional reseller prices, however consider these tips before proceeding;

#1 First consider buying an REO(Real Estate Owned) bank owned property before considering a short sale or auction property. WHY? Because short sale can be lengthy to negotiate and auction properties often require an all cash purchase. REO/ bank owned properties do not have an emotional connection but simply want to recoup as much money as possible.

#2 HAVE AN INSPECTION DONE! Did you notice this is in caps w/ exclamation point. In my opinion you should have an inspection done on any home purchase. Over 12 years of experience and thousands of homes viewed has proven to me even new construction can have issues and buyers need to protect their largest investment and make sure the home is operational & most importantly safe.

#3 Don’t expect appreciation right away. I caution buyers who buy properties at big discounts from thinking they will see appreciation right away. We are still in a depressed market and probably not going to see appreciation in the near future. Finding a good REALTOR to educate you about the local market and trends .

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post and I hope you will sign up for future post.

“Until Next Time”



What is a Short Sale & Some Things You Should Know

What is a Short Sale & Some Things You Should Know

What is a Short Sale?

A short sale is a transaction where the net proceeds from the sale of a property are not enough to cover the sellers mortgage obligation and closing costs, such as property taxes, transfer taxes, and real estate commissions.

ONLY Real Hardships Get the HELP!

Purchasing or refinancing your house during the housing boom is not a legitimate hardship. Banks actually review and analyze short sale sellers hardships and most center of the economy. In short the banks are going to verify the short sale is in their best interest, not the sellers. What are acceptable hardships? medical issues, divorce, disability, significant loss of income, death, unemployment, and relocation.

Laws Are Local(State)

Foreclosure laws vary from state to state and it is important to remember there are currently no short sale laws on the books. Federal guidelines are in place, however the bank does not have to do anything they do not want too. If you decide to move forward in selling your home as a short sale there are a few things to keep in mind.

1) If the bank approves the short sale will there be a deficiency amount owed for the difference between your mortgage amount and sales price, minus fees?

2) Will the bank accept a “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure”? With a deed in lieu of foreclosure, the property owner gives the property to the lender voluntarily in exchange for the lender canceling the loan. The lender may or may not agree to forgive any deficiency balance that results from the sale of the property.

3) Potential Tax liabilities- Under federal law, a creditor is required to file a 1099C whenever it forgives a loan balance greater than $600.00 which could create a tax liability  for you. However the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 provides tax relief for some loans forgiven in 2007 through 2012.

Lastly, please seek the advice and consult with an attorney, and possibly accountant, experienced in bankruptcy law to understand all of your options.

“Until Next Time”

Florida Still Highest Among Foreclosures

Florida Still Highest Among Foreclosures

Almost 1 in 4 mortgages are either past due or already in foreclosure during the second quarter, according to Mortgage Bankers Association. We also have the highest inventory of homes in foreclosure currently at 14.4%. The national average delinquency rate was 8.44% in the second quarter and up slightly from the first quarter.

Foreclosures continue to be found in just a few states, with ONLY five states accounting for 52 percent of the foreclosure inventory in second quarter.

1. Florida (14.4%)

2. Nevada (8.2%)

3. New Jersey (8%)

4. Illinois (7%)

5. Maine and New York (5.5%)


Source: Realtor Magazine August 23, 2011 http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2011/08/23/which-state-has-highest-foreclosure-inventory

What Happens After Foreclosure? How Long Before You Can Qualify For Mortgage?

Can You Say Tricky Question?

With so many people struggling to find work and therefore, keeping their mortgages current. Foreclosure and Short Sales are at an all time high for our country. The question posed above is not really tricky, but has many variables. The New York Times notes that a past foreclosure will result in the longest wait before you can buy again. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac properties have a 3 year waiting period after filing foreclosure and 2 year waiting period following a short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure & discharge or dismissal of bankruptcy. However, there may be certain circumstances, job loss or transfer from job, that may reduce the wait period to qualify for mortgage.

FHA loans also have 3 year waiting period for foreclosure / short sale and 2 years for bankruptcy as well, but note there are plenty of exceptions. Based on New York Time article and example would be, if a borrower was current on payments for year prior to short sale there may be not waiting period and might even qualify for FHA loan immediately.

In conclusion, none of these rules are steadfast or set in stone. With such a large number of people struggling and facing loss of their homes(at the time of this post there are over approximately 1,000,000 properties foreclosed or in the process), poor credit ratings and lack of jobs, lenders will need to take into account circumstances that may have lead to default. I firmly believe these standards will change in years to come. Fannie Mae spokesman says, ” The key is to avoid foreclosure”  and “That is what will help you be eligible for the shorter period.”

“Until Next Time”



Source: “The Post-Foreclosure Wait,” The New York Times (June 23, 2011)