U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-17) and U.S. Rep. Robert Andrews (NJ-1) today introduced bipartisan legislation that will speed short sales and spur growth in the housing market by requiring lenders to decide whether to accept an offer within 30 days.
"A robust housing market is critical to growing our economy and creating jobs in Florida," Rep. Rooney said. "By streamlining short sales, we can help keep homes out of foreclosure, fuel growth in the housing market, and deliver a needed boost to Florida's economy."
"Potential buyers cannot afford to sit and wait for months while lenders drag their feet on short sales," said Rep. Andrews. "Since a short sale cannot go through without the lender's permission, we need to ensure that unnecessary delays by lenders do not turn away buyers when a prudent deal could have been made. Speeding up this process will keep many homeowners out of foreclosure and give our housing market the boost it needs to bounce back."
"The current short sale process can be time consuming and inefficient for both buyers and sellers. In fact, NAR data shows that short sales typically take nearly 4 months to sell, and many take much longer. As the leading advocate for homeownership, Realtors are supportive of any effort to streamline the short sale approach for homeowners most in need," said Patricia Fitzgerald, a Jupiter Realtor and past president of Florida Realtors.
"Realtors believe this legislation is important for helping streamline short sales for homeowners most in need. When a family is absolutely unable to keep their home, approving a reasonable short sale offer helps home owners to avoid foreclosure, which is far better for families, neighborhoods and home values," said Dean Asher, 2013 President of Florida Realtors.
For homeowners who owe more than their home is worth and are in real danger of losing their home, the short sale can help relieve them of the overwhelming financial burden of their mortgage. According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly 22 percent of all home sales in Florida in 2012 were short sales. Unfortunately, some consumers have had difficulty executing short sales as lenders have taken months to decide whether to accept proposed short sale prices.
The "Prompt Decision for Qualification for Short Sale Act of 2013" will bring the processing time for short sale price approvals in line with the home-buying and home-selling consumer's expectations -- at most 30 days after submitting the request for short sale approval.