Over the weekend I was talking to an active duty service member who wanted to know about selling his home as a short sale. As we talked I asked my standard questions; when did you buy your home, when did you get PCS orders and what did you pay for your home? When he said he bought new construction I said let’s back up a minute. When did you sign the contract with the builder?
When he told me I said “do you realize you are eligible for the Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program?” The reason he didn’t think he was. He had closed on the purchase of his home after the June 30, 2006 deadline. However he had a fully ratified contract before the deadline.
The DoD HAP requirements are:
1. Permanent reassignment to a new duty station outside a 50-mile radius of the member’s former duty station or home port.
2. Reassignment ordered between 1 February 2006 and 30 September 2010.
3. Property purchased (or contract to purchase signed) before 1 July 2006.
4. Must have a decline of at least a 10% home value loss from the date of purchase to date of sale.
5. Property was the primary residence of the owner
6. Owner has not previously received these benefit payments.
It’s a mistake that’s easy to make and one service members looking at the DoD HAP guidelines may miss. I’ve settled a few DoD HAP transactions where the property settlement date was after the deadline but the contracts made the cutoff. It’s easy to miss and certainly if you aren’t working with an agent experience in DoD HAP sales might be a question they forget to ask you.
On the other side of the coin if you didn’t have a ratified contract prior to the cut-off date, HAP does not make exceptions to the rule. I’ve talked to sellers who missed the deadline by 1 day and their appeals have been denied for benefits.
With the deadline for DoD HAP benefits set for September 30, 2012 now is the time to review your paperwork to see if you might be qualified for DoD HAP benefits. If you own a home in Northern Virginia and were stationed at Fort Belvoir, Quantico MCB, the Pentagon or any of the installations in the Military District of Washington give Cindy Jones and CJ Realty Group a call at 703-346-2213 to discuss your options.