Negative equity remains a problem for homeowners here in September despite the fact that there have been some positive results in terms of value returning to the property of homeowners in metropolitan areas and various states across the nation. While devaluation is a problem for all homeowners, many men and women are looking for ways to escape the foreclosure process by participating in options like short sales which have been offered by major financial institutions like Bank of America to homeowners who are in a difficult financial position and unable to take advantage of foreclosure prevention efforts that are currently in place.
While Bank of America is not the only bank that offers these short sale options nor are they the only financial institution participating in the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program here in September, there are options available specifically to homeowners, in terms of agreements that servicers may be able to make. In fact, some homeowners may be using servicer-direct assistance plans to address their negative equity but there are still opportunities from this Foreclosure Alternatives plan available to homeowners in an underwater mortgage situation.
Yet, Bank of America saw no changes in terms of the activity tracked by the Treasury Department within the federal Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives plan between June and July as the number of agreements started and completed remained at 2,824 starts and 1,873 completions. When homeowners see data such as this it often causes them to wonder whether programs like short sales or deed in lieu of foreclosure plans are still an option with their current servicer.
Bank of America did see increases in short sale and deed in lieu of foreclosure plans between May and June for a homeowners who had their trial modification canceled and there was also an increase in short sale and deed in lieu of foreclosure activity during this same timeframe for homeowners who were not accepted for a trial modification, as Bank of America increased their short sale/deed in lieu of foreclosure activity from 26,182 in the month of May to the cumulative total of 31,003 in the month of June.
The reasons for drops in the Bank of America HAFA numbers may have a variety of reasons but homeowners need to remember that there are opportunities available for foreclosure prevention that may be used even if the modification is unhelpful, so homeowners do not have to resign themselves to the loss of their home if a federal modification does not work. Resources available to help homeowners explore loss prevention efforts can be found with a servicer or online, as is the case of the HOPE Hotline, but homeowners should be aware that a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure plan may be necessary in some instances, so advisers often urge homeowners to begin looking into these plans quickly when financial issues arise so that they can better explore what options may be best for their mortgage predicament.