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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fannie Mae Short Sale Announcement

A couple of days ago, Fannie Mae released to the press information about a new plan to become more involved and proactive in the short sale process for homes whose loan they hold. Below are the highlights of the release.

WASHINGTON, DC – Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) today announced the expansion of the HomePath® for Short Sales website, a communication tool created to help real estate professionals efficiently complete short sales and resolve challenges directly with Fannie Mae.  The new functionality will allow agents to contact Fannie Mae sooner in the short sale process and preempt potential challenges, decreasing the need to escalate concerns further down the road. The website is open to any real estate professional working on a short sale involving a Fannie Mae-owned loan.

Through the expanded HomePath Short Sale Portal, listing agents can work directly with Fannie Mae to:

Request list price guidance prior to listing a property

View the status of submitted cases

Negotiate and receive first lien approval on a short sale directly from Fannie Mae (This feature will be rolled out over the next few months through individual servicers.)

For more on the program go to

It remains to be seen if Fannie Mae will adequately staff this program or whether it will become just another frustrating bureaucracy in the already frustrating short sale process. None of the major banks ever got it right and still struggle today to make their convoluted processes work. Perhaps Fannie Mae can make a positive difference.

The short sale process has been so frustrating because of the lack of transparency in the process and the long bureaucratic chain that one has to navigate through to get a decision. Short sales involving major banks can and do take 3-4 months to get through, sometime longer. The process is further exacerbated by the total lack of any real concern about the people involved, the condition of the property or the local market conditions within the system.

Homes going through the short sale process are just entries on a spread sheet, assets to be manipulated and disposed of; there are no people involved from that perspective. People who may not ever see the property are called upon (for a fee) to render decisions (called Broker Price Opinions) about its market value. Some banks make minimal effort to ensure that the property is secure and maintained to some level during the process.

So, one can only hope that there is sincerity behind Fannie Mae’s assertion that they are concern about keeping neighborhoods viable by doing what they can to make the short sale process quicker and with less damage to the property value of the home being sold and those around it. Let’s hope that they staff up adequately to handle the volume and have a straightforward process in place to get quick decisions.

If you don't know whether Fannie Mae hold the mortgage to your home, go here -

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