The U.S. Treasury Department announced new guidelines this week designed to make short sales go more smoothly.
Â To qualify under these new guidelines:
- The property must be the home ownerâ€™s principal residence.
- The home owner must be delinquent on the mortgage or close to defaulting.
- The loan must have been made before Jan. 1, 2009, and be for less than $729,750.
- The borrowersâ€™ total monthly mortgage payment must exceed 31 percent of their before-tax income.
Under the plan, borrowers will receive $1,500 from the government for selling homes for less than the amount of their mortgages.Â Â Mortgage-servicing companies will get $1,000 for each completed short sale.
Second-mortgage holders can receive up to $3,000 of the sales proceeds in exchange for releasing their liens.
Investors who hold the first mortgage can collect up to $1,000 from the government for allowing the payments.
Borrowers who complete a short sale under the program must be “fully released” from future liability for the debt, according to the guidelines.
Source: Associated Press, J.W. Elphinstone (11/01/2009) and The Wall Street Journal, Ruth Simon (11/01/2009)