Relocation Services Providers Help Facilitate Short Sales

February 8, 2010: 09:19 AM

The number of relocation services providers offering short sale programs to distressed homeowners is increasing across the county.

These companies offer short sale services as part of their relocation package. Over the past years, the bigger relocation companies have been offering the complete package ? from selling the house currently occupied by the customer and finding another home in the destination state to moving the possessions of the customer.

But these customers were not distressed homeowners; they were moving because of new employment or education opportunities. Now, a lot of people have to relocate due to the economic downturn. Because they can no longer sustain monthly home loan payments, they have to sell their homes to move to places where they can have family support.

Since short sales are difficult to negotiate, with most banks hesitant about selling the properties at prices far below the amounts of the mortgage loans, troubled homeowners need professionals to work out short sales on their behalf.

Many hire real estate agents, particularly those who have been trained and certified in short sales. But if homeowners can accomplish short selling and moving at a lower cost with satisfactory results with the help of relocation services providers, then these homeowners would prefer the short sale and moving package.

TexaStar Relocation is one company in Texas offering a short sale package to homeowners facing foreclosure. It says that it has a pool of real estate investors ready to buy distressed properties in cash and a team of real estate professionals with experiences in negotiating with lenders.

One of the federal programs that will be incorporated by relocation service providers in their packages to troubled homeowners is the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives or HAFA, a new initiative launched by the Treasury Department in November 2009 to enhance its Home Affordable Modification Program.

This program is offered to homeowners who are not qualified for HAMP or who have redefaulted on their modified home loans. Compared to the short sale alternative recommended in the early part of 2009, HAFA now uses standardized forms and short sale procedures and has fixed time frames.

Once the lender and borrower signs the short sale agreement, the property will be actively marketed and the lender cannot pursue a foreclosure action while the contract is in effect.

Under HAFA, all parties are given incentives, including the amount of $1,500 in relocation assistance for the borrower, who can then use part of the money to pay the chosen relocation services provider.

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