Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program

3 03 2009

The Department of Defense (DOD) announced the Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP) to eligible service members and federal civilian, including non-appropriate fund, employees. The program is authorized by law to assist eligible homeowners who face financial loss when selling their primary residence homes in areas where real estate values have declined because of a base closure or realignment announcement.

The DOD has designated the US Army its executive agent for HAP. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) administers the program for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and the Coast Guard.

Working with installation commanders and housing officials, USACE district realty specialists are committed to offering all possible assistance in determining and providing HAP benefits to all eligible applicants.

HOW IT WORKS

Generally HAP provides assistance in four possible ways. If you are eligible for HAP benefits, the Government may:

1. Reimburse you for part of your loss from selling your home.

2. Assist you, if you don’t receive enough proceeds from the sale of your home to pay off your mortgage.

3. Buy your home by paying off the mortgage.

4. Help you, if you default on your mortgage.

HOW TO APPLY FOR HAP BENEFITS

The application is made on DD Form 1607, application for Homeowners Assistance Program. Part III, Section IV of the form must be completed by your personnel officer. In addition, you must submit a variety of documents to show evidence of your ownership of the property, your occupancy dates, your assignment orders, your efforts to sell the home (whether or not it was sold), and mortgage details.

A complete application pacakge can be obtained from either base/installion housing or personnel offices, or it can be downloaded from http://www.hap.usace.army.mil. Before you make an application, please contact the DOD HAP National Hotline at 1-888-DODHAP1 (888-636-4271.)

For more information, contact the DOD HAP National Hotline at 1-888-DODHAP1 (888-363-4271O, visit the website at http://hap.usace.army.mil or call the field office corresponding to your area of the country below:

HAP Field Office, Fort Worth
U.S. Army Engineer District, Fort Worth
P.O. Box 17300
Ft. Worth, TX 76102-0300
817-886-1209
888-231-7751

HAP Field Office, Sacramento
U.S. Army Engineer District, Sacramento
1325 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-2922
916-557-6850
800-811-5532

HAP Field Office, Savannah
U.S. Army Engineer District, Savannah
Homeowners Assistance Program
Attn: RE-RH
P.O. Box 889
Savannah, GA 31402-0889
912-652-5020
800-861-8144

National Program Manager
Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program
411 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20314-1000
202-761-1566





Fannie Mae Stops Cutting Real Estate Commissions in a Short Sale

3 03 2009

Real estate commissions are now protected in some short-sale transactions. In response to Realtor concerns, Fannie Mae announced that “preforeclosure sales may not be conditioned upon a reduction of the total (real estate) commission,” providing the total commission does not exceed 6 percent. The policy became effective March 1.

The move affects only short sales where Fannie Mae backs the mortgage, but experts hope Freddie Mac and other government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) will soon follow suit. Currently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back over half the mortgages in the U.S.

The change seeks to solve a problem encountered by many Realtors. After putting together a short-sale package and submitting it to the lender for approval, Realtors report that lenders would often counteroffer with a cut in commission. Realtors then found themselves working twice as hard on a short sale for less money.

In November during the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Legal Seminar, Fannie Mae officials turned to Realtors and asked what could be done to expedite the short-sale process. Among other things, attendees took Fannie Mae to task for their commission policies. The recently announced change is Fannie Mae’s response.

Fannie Mae’s announcement appeared as a short notice in a “Miscellaneous Servicing Policy Changes” announcement. It says:

Servicing Guide, Part VII, Section 504.02: Contacting Selected Borrowers

Effective March 1, 2009, closing of preforeclosure sales may not be conditioned upon a reduction of the total commission to be paid to real estate agents to a level below what was negotiated by the listing agent with the borrower, unless the fee exceeds 6 percent of the sales price of the property in the aggregate. Servicers are reminded that they must continue to obtain any approvals that may be required by interested third parties in connection with preforeclosure sales.

The original document can be downloaded from Fannie Mae’s Web site at https://www.efanniemae.com/sf/guides/ssg/2009annlenltr.jsp?referrer=frpromo.








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