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Contra Costa Times Interviews Scott Fuller For Short Sales Article

by Scott Fuller on September 18, 2012
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Contra Costa Times Interviews Scott Fuller of East Bay Short Sale Group

Contra Costa Times Interviews Scott Fuller of East Bay Short Sale Group!


The following article was published in the Sunday Sept 2nd, 2012 Real Estate Plus section of the Contra Costa Times. Scott Fuller, a short sale specialist from East Bay Short Sale Group was interviewed.

Some East Bay homeowners are benefiting from short sales



Short sales, in some cases, are beginning to really pay off for someEastBayhomeowners who are underwater on their mortgage and who successfully sell their home.


In our area, we are seeing a recent trend where mortgage lenders are increasing the amount of money offered to homeowners after escrow closes on the short sale. Lenders call it “homeowner relocation assistance,” which is meant to help the struggling homeowner with relocation and moving expenses. It can range from $3,000 to $30,000 and is paid after the successful close of escrow on the short sale.


When the government sponsored HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives) short sale program was introduced in 2010, the purpose was basically two-fold; to alleviate any deficiency (eliminate ability for the lender to come after the homeowner for payment of forgiven debt at a later time), and to provide the homeowner with up to $3,000 in relocation assistance after close of escrow. In the beginning of this program, there were fairly tight homeowner qualifying guidelines to qualify for HAFA; including debt-to-income ratios, when the owner obtained the mortgage, etc.


As of June 1, 2012, these HAFA guidelines have become much more relaxed, meaning fewer restrictions on the property and on the homeowner’s income. Thus, more people are now qualifying for the $3,000 in relocation assistance from their lender after closing.


More recently in the East Bay we are seeing many servicers, including several national banks, are now offering up to $30,000 in relocation assistance to qualifying homeowners. To qualify, borrowers must obtain pre-approval on the sale price of their home from their lender and then list their home with a real estate agent.


For many of these bank programs, the sale must begin by the end of 2012 and close by Sept. 26, 2013. The exact compensation varies and is determined case-by-case based on a calculation that involves the home’s value, mortgage balance and other factors. Not every homeowner will qualify for the same amount of relocation assistance. In our experience of closing short sales we have seen no direct correlation between the seller’s hardship or financials and qualifying to receive relocation assistance. The ability to qualify is more dependent on the property’s financials and perhaps a “luck of the draw.”


As investors typically net a higher amount from approving a short sale vs. owning the home as a REO, we expect these types of short sale seller incentives to continue throughout 2012.


Scott Fuller is a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Danville. Contact him at 925-567-6720, or on the web at


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