Looking back, the housing industry is totally Scrooged

Looking back, the housing industry is totally Scrooged

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Completed HAFA short sales pass 10,000 through June

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Servicers completed 10,438 short sales through the government's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program since it launched in April 2010, according to the Treasury Department. HAFA was designed to provide an incentive to servicers for completing short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure for loans that fail out of the larger Home Affordable Modification Program. Through June, servicers started 21,412 short sales and DILs, up 20% from the month before. A total of 10,754 were completed, up 25%. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is the programs leading performer, completing nearly 3,600 through the program, including nearly 1,000 in June alone. Wells Fargo (WFC) was second, completing more than 3,100 since the program launched and roughly 700 in June. Bank of America (BAC) completed 1,873 HAFA transactions, an increase of roughly 200 in the month. Pam Marron, a senior loan officer with Gold Start Mortgage Financial Group in Tampa Bay, Fla., said more and more homeowners in negative equity view a short sale as their only way out. Many, she said, are defaulting because banks require them to do so in order to qualify for a short sale. "The growing problem in Florida is the alarming increase in the number of short sale listings that are coming onto the market. These people are still employed but severely underwater and are having to short sale because they are not able to pay the vast difference owed between the mortgage amount and the value of these homes," Marron said. "Banks are requiring homeowners to default in order to qualify for the short sale." In 22% of the HAFA agreements started — equal to roughly 4,700 mortgages — the homeowner began a HAMP trial but later requested a HAFA agreement or was disqualified from HAMP. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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