Another Proposal to Streamline Short Sales

Two members of the US House of Representatives, Reps. Robert Andrews (D-New Jersey) and Tom Rooney (R-Florida), have sponsored a bill called “Prompt Decision for Qualification of Short Sale Act of 2010″ (H.R. 6133).

The basics of the bill would require lenders to make a YES or NO decision on short sales within 45 days of a complete application. As great as this sounds the biggest sticking point is lenders have proven over and over again that they don’t follow even their own posted time frame for reviewing documents. For example SunTrust Short Sale Guide suggests they will complete the process in 38 days. My last SunTrust short sale took 4 months and two buyers to complete.

Then there is the HAFA guidelines established on April 5, 2010 which provided incentives to participating lenders for settling short sales and suggested a 10 day upfront short sale approval. The only “approved” short sales I’ve handled are ones where the original buyer left the process just as the sellers approval arrived. Then we could market the home with an approved price and hope that the lender stuck to their price when we sent in a new contract.

Now I don’t want to be a pessimist. However after three years of watching lenders struggle with short sales and various government agencies come up with plans to fix the process it hasn’t happened. What has happened as Realtors® like myself continue to do the best we can in working towards a successful outcome for our sellers. There are no guarantees we can provide other than we will do our best to continue to reach out to the lender and try to negotiate a reasonable and timely response.

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