Short Sales and Relocation Assistance Money for Sellers

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Broadpoint Properties Cal BRE #01324959

short salesA call came in the other day from a gentleman with a really great question.

 “I have a Notice of Default on my property and my mortgage is with Chase Bank. I really need relocation expenses paid in order to be able to afford to move, and I want to know if I qualify for the additional Chase Bank relocation assistance. How can I find out now?”

This is such a great question, and it seems to be one of the great mysteries in short sale processing and negotiation. In fact, you hear so many horror stories about short sale sellers who think they are getting relocation assistance and then learn at the last minute that they get nothing—often because the agent or short sale processor did not correctly do what was necessary. 

The answer to the question about Chase relocation assistance is this: With the help of a qualified Realtor® who knows his or her way around a short sale, you can find out very quickly whether you qualify for the HAFA program, which offers $3000 in relocation assistance to qualified borrowers. The additional money (the big bucks sometimes offered by Chase and even Bank of America)—learning about that takes a little bit longer. Often times, you do now know until you are able to speak directly with the short sale negotiator in the midst of the short sale process after the package has been submitted to the bank.

The reason that obtaining the information often takes awhile is because the amount of relocation assistance varies depending upon the investor that owns your note. Remember that often times the lender where you pay your mortgage does not own your note (your loan). This company could just be servicing it for someone else or some other entity. And, in this case, the negotiator’s work is based upon the guidelines of the owner of the note, and not the guidelines of the servicer.

Sounds a little confusing? It can be! That’s why you need to make sure that you are working with a qualified Realtor® that knows how to get the job done. And, if you need assistance, feel free to contact the agents at Broadpoint Properties.


Re-Bloggged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ginger Harper 10/15/2012 03:00 PM
  2. Kim & Kristine Halverson 10/15/2012 07:11 PM
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Short Sale Specialists & Pre-Foreclosure Education
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Comments 23 New Comment

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Sussie Sutton
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.
UTR Texas Realtors

You know so much about short sales! I don't know of anyone in Texas who knows as much as or more than you!

October 15, 2012 05:14 PM
Chuck Mixon
Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR
The Keyes Company

The problem is that most owner wait until they receive notice of eviction and then call and ask for assistance. If they would only contact us earlier.

October 15, 2012 05:18 PM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Put 40 years of experience to work for you
Lyon Real Estate

With some of my sellers, I can tell right away if they qualify for a cash incentive. I might not know how much they will get, but I can tell if they are eligible. I have sellers in Sacrameto who are receiving double compensation from Bank of America -- getting the coop incentive plus the HIN incentive. Last week I had a seller get angry when I told them to get the Freddie Mac HAFA they needed to initiate the process, and they were so ticked off because they didn't want to do anything at all and could not understand why I couldn't wave my magic wand and do it for them.

October 15, 2012 05:20 PM
Brenda Mullen
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!
RE/MAX Access

There are banks with different programs as well.  I am working on a weird short sale right now that guarantees the seller 4% of the bank's net for relocation...nothing in writing supposedly so we shall see.  This is great information though!

October 15, 2012 05:37 PM
Reba Haas
Team Reba, CDPE
Team Reba of RE/MAX Metro Eastside

I've seen so few people qualify for moving costs but have had it happen a couple of times. It's often a crap shoot and the lender's will frequently hold off unless there is a major hardship.

October 15, 2012 06:04 PM
Melissa Zavala
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
Broadpoint Properties

Sussie: Texas is a big state. I'm sure there must be someone there that has a wealth of short sale information.

October 15, 2012 06:09 PM
Jane Peters
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene
Power Brokers Int'l

You are an incredible resource for those thinking of short-selling their homes ih California.  You really know the process.

October 15, 2012 06:23 PM
Ginny Gorman
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond
Phillips Post Road Realty ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate

Melissa, it does make a difference who the negotiating team is and how well they process...some lawyers here are doing the negotiations and the short sales go on for over 8 months...not fair to buyers or sellers...North San Diego short sale sellers should be reaching to've got the tic tock!

October 15, 2012 06:29 PM
Ed Silva
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754

Melissa, the general amount has been $3,000 for occupied sellers and $2,500 for non occupied sellers. Although Chase has been more generous with some of their loans depending on the amount of the outstanding mortgage. Working with a short sales specialist is key, however, and there's no question you know your stuff

October 15, 2012 06:55 PM
Chicago Real Estate
Goran Utvic
Goran Utvic | Chicagoland Brokers Inc, Chicago IL 60656

Great explanation Melissa...short sale sellers could really benefit with relocation assistance

October 15, 2012 07:00 PM
Kim & Kristine Halverson
Realtors, Santa Monica Real Estate, CA, Santa Monica Real Estate :)

Melissa, you are spot on, just did a reblog

Thank you!  Kristine :)
October 15, 2012 07:12 PM
Joan Whitebook
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
BHG The Masiello Group

This whole short sale world is still very complex, slow and difficult to navigate. 

October 15, 2012 08:01 PM
Jennifer Fivelsdal
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571

Melissa so often you have demonstrated your expertise in the short sale market.  Seller finding themselves needing to go the short sale routine in North San Diego CA should seek your assistance.

October 15, 2012 09:44 PM
Praful Thakkar
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale
Keller Williams Realty

Melissa, it is always good to work with professional - they know what's going on in the market and in the field of short sales.

October 15, 2012 10:18 PM
Nestor & Katerina Gasset
Realtors, Wellington Florida Homes For Sale
International Properties and Investments LLC

We can tell right away on our first discussion with a seller if they qualify for HAFA $3000 relocation funds or not. We can also call the bank to find out if the loan number is one of the bank's incentive files for the big bucks. The big bucks are determined by the amount of the deficiency. The higher the loan amount versus the value the more incentive money there is. That is what the executive department at Chase explained to us the formula they use. 

We just had one where the sellers had an attorney negotiating for them and the attorney did not put their short sale through the HAFA program so of course, the approval letter came back with no HAFA relocation funds. We asked the attorney why the sellers did not get HAFA approved and they said they forgot to put the short sale through as a HAFA. We recommded to the sellers to start the process again, apply for HAFA, they did, they got the approval for HAFA. 

So many times it is the attorney or the agent that does not know how to process a short sale for the benefit of the seller to get incentive monies. 

October 16, 2012 04:44 AM
Paul Francis
Las Vegas Real Estate - Summerlin Homes - 702.592.
Prudential Americana Group - REALTORS

Nice to see a short sale relocation assistance article that explains it out instead of making promises and giving distressed homeowners false hope.

October 16, 2012 04:53 AM
Richie Alan Naggar Author PEARLS SERIES of books
on LIFE and LOVE plus Real Estate too!
People first then business! Ran Right Realty Riverside, Ca

Going through this now.....thank you for the extra awareness

October 16, 2012 06:27 AM
Shane Barker
Amerifirst Financial, INC.

This is still hard for a lot of people to figure out, thanks for the great info.

October 16, 2012 09:41 AM
Nevin Williams
Raleigh Mortgage Pro
Sierra Pacific Mortgage Raleigh

Melissa - Well said!  There are so many things people and agents not experienced in these matters DON'T KNOW that causes them to struggle or even not perform the short sale.  This is why I refer agents needing short sale assistance to you.  You have been focusing on this niche in all of the years I have known you and I cannot think of anyone better to handle short sales.

October 16, 2012 10:53 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Los Angeles / Valley Homes
Mannis Real Estate Group

Love the post and those who shared their experience and thoughts on incentives/relocation fees.  It is so hard to predict how lenders find out: how much they would pay to the seller. These days it is 3-30k, right? How they come up with the number for a particular short sale seller? Every situation is different...

May 30, 2013 11:39 PM
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Melissa Zavala

Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
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