Michigan-based Realcomp II, a multiple-listing service and data provider for half of the state, will participate in a Fannie Mae program to speed up stalled short sales. Realcomp II collaborated with Fannie on the pilot Short Sale Assistance Desk to help close cases of extended response times from servicers or where the mortgage insurer or investor places a condition the borrower cannot meet. "We are pleased to be the first MLS in Michigan to make this program available to our Realtor subscribers to provide them with a way to jump-start short-sales that have stalled," said Realcomp CEO Karen Kage. "Collaborating with Fannie Mae on the initial pilot program, and then seeing the results of these efforts come together for the benefit of our customers and consumers is truly gratifying." The Desk will only consider issues that arose on loans owned by Fannie Mae after an offer was submitted on the property. Post-offer issues often relate to the existence of a second lien and issues involving mortgage insurance. Short sales are eligible for help from the Desk if the servicer has not responded within 20 days, a final valuation within 30 days of the offer or a final decision within 60 days of the offer. Realcomp stressed that real estate agents and counselors make a reasonable effort to resolve issues by working with the servicer first. The MLS members can only submit a case for review only if all "actionable" requests have been met. Servicers experienced a 70% loss rate on REOs sold in the middle of 2011, compared to less than 60% for short sales, according to Moody's Investors Service. But the process is difficult. With so many parties involved, short sales can often span several months to close. Since September 2010, roughly 8,856 short sales sold through the Realcomp MLS. As of Wednesday, the Realcomp MLS had 7,055 short sales on market. "We are committed to helping homeowners avoid foreclosure whenever possible," said Fannie Mae Vice President Marcel Bryar. "The Fannie Mae Short Sale Assistance Desk helps real estate professionals resolve any issues that they may encounter during the review and approval process. The goal of the Assistance Desk is to clear the way for more short sales and make the process more efficient." Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior