Williams & Williams, a national real estate auction firm, said Friday that it plans to launch a unique program aimed directly at consumers who find themselves in default on their mortgage payments. The Assisted Sales Auction Program (ASAP) was designed by the firm to help delinquent borrowers and their secured lenders avoid foreclosure. The auction firm said ASAP allows the property to be sold before foreclosure actually takes place and offers settlement of the debt obligations and a reduction in losses for both the lender and borrower. The program guarantees a sale of property within 60 days of enrollment in the program, and while not guaranteed, the auctioneer said that many sales achieve full payoff of all outstanding debt, eliminating the pending foreclosure and returning equity to the borrower. Sales that net less than payoff may be considered by the lender for loss mitigation.
Williams & Williams will provide certain borrowers (those in some stage of foreclosure but without equity) that enroll in the program cash assistance towards relocation to affordable housing equal to 1 percent of the sales price. â€œWe had already successfully used ASAP with many national lenders in 2006, offering it to the lenders as a loss mitigation program to reduce the costs they incur from defaults and foreclosures, said Dean Williams, president and CEO of Williams & Williams. â€œWe realized that it also was very beneficial to borrowers as well and have decided to offer ASAP to them directly as a way to avoid foreclosure and everything associated with it.â€? Williams added, â€œWhat happens in most cases is not that people choose to default on their mortgage payments, but rather unfortunate unforeseen events occur, and before they know it, they are in a situation they had not planned on being in. The idea behind ASAP is to provide an actual way out â€“ a way to achieve cost effective as well as responsible private settlement and avoid the long-term negative effects of foreclosure.â€? Once a borrower agrees to participate in ASAP, Williams and Williams contacts the lender to confirm the outstanding issues and timelines. Besides providing borrowers a choice and preserving property value and equity, Williams and Williams said its ASAP program also reduces court delays and bankruptcies, as well as evictions and redemption periods â€“ all of which commonly involve parties in extended litigation and/or property abandonment. The company is launching the ASAP direct-to-consumer model to borrowers in select Midwestern states this month, with a nationwide roll out scheduled before the end the year.