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REALTORS® Applaud FHFA for Expanding Short Sale Eligibility to Help More Struggling Homeowners

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The National Association of REALTORS® applauds the Federal Housing Finance Agency for working with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to issue new guidelines that expand eligibility criteria and streamline the short sale process.

The new guidelines would offer a more streamlined short sale approach for homeowners most in need, as well as enable lenders to quickly and easily qualify certain homeowners for a short sale who are current on their mortgage payments, yet suffer from specific hardships such as job relocation, increase in housing expenses, unemployment and disability. The FHFA guidelines will also consolidate existing short sales programs into a single uniform process and provide lenders and homeowners clarity on processing a short sale when a foreclosure sale is pending.

“As the leading advocate for homeownership, REALTORS® know that when a family is absolutely unable to keep their home, a short sale is often the best option for homeowners hoping to avoid foreclosure,” says NAR President Moe Veissi. “REALTORS® appreciate FHFA’s efforts to increase the number of short sale approvals, which limit the losses incurred by homeowners, lenders, the federal government and taxpayers.”

NAR worked closely with FHFA and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to create the new guidelines and has long advocated improving the short sale process to provide more distressed homeowners with alternatives to foreclosure. NAR believes that improving short sale eligibility will allow more families to avoid foreclosure and reduce the negative impact foreclosures have on families and communities. Short sales also help stabilize home values and neighborhoods by keeping homes occupied, which benefits the housing market and aids in the recovery.

Veissi praised FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco for responding to consumer and REALTORS®’ requests to increase the number of short sale approvals, and called on lenders to work harder to make short sales work for more underwater families hoping to avoid foreclosure.

“We hope these new guidelines will allow many more hardworking American homeowners that would have previously been denied a short sale to now be approved and avoid defaulting on their mortgage loan,” says Veissi.

Implementation of the new guidelines should begin on November 1.

For more information, visit www.realtor.org/topics/short-sales.

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