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New Bill to Streamline Short Sales

by Houston Agent

A new bill introduced earlier this week aims to change long lender delays with short sales.

US Capitol BuildingThe bill, titled the “Prompt Decision for Qualification for Short Sale Act of 2011,” was sponsored by U.S. Reps Tom Rooney (R-FL) and Robert Andrews (D-NJ) on Tuesday. The bill will require lenders to decide on an offer within 45 days.

Rep. Andrews said, “Potential buyers can wait for months for a lender to make a decision on a short sale, and that wait often stops a sale from happening.”

The new bill would address that wait and uncertainty by giving lenders a hard time limit to decide, which Rep. Rooney says, “would speed transactions and help prevent homes from going into foreclosure.”

Response from the real estate industry has been generally positive. Short sales can be difficult and time consuming, but still represent 13 percent of all recent home sales, according to National Association of Realtors data. “Many would-be buyers end up walking away from a sale that could have saved a home owner from foreclosure,” said NAR President Ron Phipps.

The new bill takes aim at the biggest problems in the short sale market, delays and inefficiencies. According to Phipps, “Streamlining short sales transactions will reduce the amount of time it takes to sell the property, improve the likelihood that the transaction will close and reduce the overall number of foreclosures. This benefits sellers, lenders, buyers and the entire community.”

The full text of the bill is available here, and those interested in tracking the progress of the bill through Congress can do so here.

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