With nearly 25 percent of Ohio homeowners underwater on their mortgages, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) unveiled a plan to improve the housing market by addressing "short sale" transactions. Short sales are real estate transactions that must be approved by the bank because the seller owes more on his/her mortgage than the proposed sale price. Brown's bipartisan legislation, the Prompt Notification of Short Sale Act, addresses the lengthy closing process that often comes with a short sale--which can last months--by requiring banks to respond in a timely manner when prospective buyers are attempting to purchase such homes. Brown released county-by-county information on the percentage of Ohio homeowners who owe more on their mortgage than their property is currently worth.
"Ohio families are tired of being stuck in limbo," Brown said. "If we're going to fully recover from the housing crisis, we need to make it easier for qualified candidates to purchase homes. This commonsense legislation helps prospective home buyers and distressed homeowners alike--rebuilding our neighborhoods and jumpstarting economic growth."
Brown was joined on a news conference call today by a northeast Ohio homeowner whose home has been on the market for nearly two years. Despite multiple offers from buyers, the deals fell through because of delays by her mortgage lender. Seth Task, treasurer of the Cleveland Area Board of Realtors (CABOR) will outline how the Prompt Notification of Short Sale Act would improve the process for both sellers and buyers involved in "short sale" transactions and bolster the housing market and our economic recovery.
Presently, it can take months to get any kind of response from banks or other loan servicers to short sale offers. Brown's legislation requires a written response of an acceptance, rejection, counter offer, or the need for an extension of time within 60 days of a request from a homeowner--thereby providing both buyers and sellers of short sale properties with predictability during a real estate transaction.