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Mr. McMillan Goes to Washington, Posted by Charles

In the classic movie, Mr. Smith goes to Washington, Jimmy Stewart’s character is appointed to fill a U.S. Senate seat and when faced with the reality of politics, he doesn’t back down.

Well, I may not be serving in Congress, but as your NAR President, my job is to represent you on critical issues. No matter how tough the challenge, you can count on me not to back down.

I just returned home to Texas after a full week in Washington, D.C., where I continued to press regulators on a few vital issues.

Last Wednesday, I met with FHA Commissioner Dave Stevens (a former REALTOR®) to discuss implementation of components of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct. We asked that FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, adopt a consistent frequently asked questions document to address implementation concerns and codify that document with existing appraisal policy.

Commissioner Stevens agreed that requiring two appraisals in declining markets adds little benefit to underwriting and likely increases the cost of the transaction to the consumer. He also directed staff to work with the GSEs and New York Attorney General on our FAQ idea.

On Friday morning, I had a chance to meet with Freddie Mac’s new CEO Ed Haldeman, and HVCC was also on our agenda. Mr. Haldman agreed to work with FHA, Fannie Mae and the Federal Housing Finance Agency on a common set of FAQ’s. In fact, he promised that he would get back to me within two weeks with a status report.

The meeting with Freddie Mac was a great opportunity to talk about a few other hot issues.

Specifically, I thanked Freddie for coming out with guidelines that do not allow servicers to reduce commissions on short sales deals.

Mr. Haldeman also said that Freddie is willing to give waivers on their condo guidelines and he said they will be more vigilant in communicating with lenders on this issue.

We also learned that the Treasury Department and GSEs are working on guidelines related to short sales and the making Home Affordable program. We expect to see them in the next 30 days. Mr. Haldeman also agreed to emphasize the importance of short sales over foreclosures in discussions with the Treasury.

In Washington, D.C., progress can often be slow, but I am confident that the REALTOR® voice is the leading voice on policies that will define the future of our industry and our business. I urge you to get involved. Together, we can end 2009 on a high note, United Toward Tomorrow. – Charles McMillan, 2009 NAR President

Comments
  1. The comment that “Haldeman also agreed to emphasize the importance of short sales over foreclosures in discussions with the Treasury.” really caught my attention. The entire system continues to operate upside down. The people who approve and process short sales for ther banks are somehow looked at as pariahs because they are losing money for the institution. The REO departments, however, appear to be heros for getting non-performing assetts (those very same properties that they refused to sell short) off the books. It’s documented that foreclosures ultimately cost lenders far more than most short sales, yet they still view it backwards.
    Thank you, Charles for continuing to be there for us.

  2. PAUL BAUER

    It would be nice if there would be some effort to police the short sale “pocket listing” scenario, whereby a listing agent sells a “short sale” listing the 2nd day to a “preferred buyer”, putting item in “contingent status” thereby eliminating any future showings for themost part. OUr current rules actually facilitate this type of quasi fraudulent activities.
    As far as your comment about short sales being more cost effective to lenders than REO’s, that is completely accurate but until there is some regulation, or at least oversight into the “in office” sales, this will continue to be a mess.

  3. Your discussion with the FHA Commissioner regarding the removal of the requirement for two appraisals is a relevant issue. We recently lost a sale on a home that was appraised over $40,000 below the contract sales price on the first appraisal whereas the second appraisal came in $5,000 ABOVE the agreed sales price. The FHA regulations state that if the difference between the two is greater than 5% the lender only uses the first appraisal. In this case, it was a show stopper and seller refused to go through the appeal process due to its unlikely success at achieving full contract sales price and buyer was unwilling to add extra cash to the purchase. Buyer simply spent money on two appraisals (and the inspection) for the same failed attempt at the purchase. Seller found a cash buyer (no appraisal) and sold the home 3 weeks later. Clearly while appraiser #1 (who was from out of town) did not feel that the value was there, more than one buyer did and one of them was willing to lay down the cash necessary to pay for it! This was terribly unfortunate for Buyer #1 and the associated lender, agent, etc. who spent time and money on the sale all for naught due to one out-of-town appraiser’s opinion of value.

  4. paul

    HVCC horror story: 2 unit mixed use purchase being financed by the 203K program. Loan originator or AMC or Appraiser obtain my info to let them in, but the number is off by one digit. it took 2 weeks to hash out this problem. things like this happen, whatever, im over it. finally, the appraiser get in and says he cant do it because he isnt licensed to appraise commercial space. order cancelled. next appraiser, same thing. gets there and cant do the job because theyre a CRE, not a CGE. 3rd order was placed by AMC and i hope this doesnt happen again. seller’s are reviewing back up offers because my side looks unprofessional.
    The Fraud for Profit schemes that HVCC is trying to stop is coming at the expense of loan originators and realtors patience and the consumers pocket book. Now, its easy to point out problem. The tough part is finding a solution.

  5. Lin

    We need to do a national survey of Realtors who do short sales to determine which servicers are cooperating with short sales and the MHA plan to expose those banks that aren’t.

  6. Thank you Mr. Millian for bringing NAR’s concerns over the HVCC. The real issue is oversight of the AMC’s who currently is running “roughshod” over the appraisal profession with offered fees from $200 to $300 and demands of 48 hour turn times. Both are leading “shoddy” appraisals that tend to “low ball” the value, hence futher repressing what little recovery there is out there.

  7. It has been my experience that short sales require twice the effort than a homesteaded property and for less commission. I appreciate Freddie for the updated commission standard.

  8. Appraisal came in $38,000 low from sales price of $323,000.
    This is costing the buyer more because they are now going to spend another $400 to get another lender and appraisal on the property.
    The appraiser said his hands are tied because of the new rules.
    It is like the appraisers do not care if it comes in or not, they do not know the area of the subject property
    This has got to stop, nobody wins in this sale.
    Thank you

  9. Im glad to see the appraisal guidelines still being worked on . I sold a 2/1/2 Fee Simple unit in Pearl Harbor to an Navy officer his comp on the VA appraisal was less one parking , six floors lower , on the hiway side not ocean view and came in lower by almost $20,000. He wanted the unit and knew the details after I fully detailed in the VA appraisers request from me for my response. It still stands out in my mind as a travesty to the ones keeping our country safe. I feel confident that something will get done regarding home valuation and better guidelines for newer appraisal standards and protocol across our nation . Mahalo Nui Loa , Robert Huber RA

  10. Christopher T. Hanna

    I am still disapointed in the inefficient handling of short sales by the majority of “big “lenders and servicing companies . I also find it appalling in that big bank recipients of Government money have outsourced their workout departments to countries such as India with workers that are clearly untrained nor qualified to handle this very serious problem on hand . It is time wasting , counterproductive , and the indifference and lack of knowledge and understanding is troubling at best. No one will benefit from this on the long term , it is another shortsighted decision by “Big” lenders to benefit in short term and sacrificing the long term solution of this dilemna . Are the lenders being compensated by our government to enable this way of the thinking , and fuel this indifference ??

  11. My comment is they need to hire negotiator that have no ego problem & need to know what they are doing. Time is the problem w/ short sales qualified buyers are walking away bec. they cannot wait. Banks need to tell borrowers if they don’t qualify stop spending monies on modifications(atty.. etc.) Just move forward.

  12. JUST SAY NO TO FANNIE AND FREDDIE
    No housing market recovery in sight with booby traps abound.
    The HVCC Looks like a conspiracy against home owners, structured to keep home values low, lower and lowest over time in a legal, convenient way by controlling the appraisal process, interfering with professional appraisers, in fact terrifying them if they do not follow the new policy enacted May 1, 2009 by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Home valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) will hinder any positive market recovery, it is done without vision, planning, goal or concern about its impact on the housing market throughout the United States of America. These regulators enacted laws with sharp teeth; an agent who is trying to convey, point out, or provide helpful valuations to the appraiser, may be charged with class 6 Felony (refer to Board Statute, A.R.S. § 32-3633 undue influence). Often, competent appraisers come to different conclusions of value, because appraisers do not have a uniform valuation approach. A professional appraiser may give $15,000 credit for a home with an extra car garage, and another licensed, professional appraiser will just add $10,000.
    Hawaii economic experts thought that we have resilient real estate market, until the appraisal rules started being enacted, & having its impact. Hawaii has limited land, limited inventory, and with the higher cost of homes, a slower market & limited comparables. The mortgage GIANT said new rules for appraisals don’t require that appraisers select distressed properties — including short sales, foreclosures or real estate-owned properties when identifying “comparable properties” for valuations. Ask the GIANTS, Fannie & Freddie: Did you tell appraisers what they can use in the absence of market recent sales? In the absence of a guide line, the appraisers are using exactly that, the short sales, bank owned properties and foreclosure.
    In spite of the higher appraisal fees, many appraisers are now earning less per appraisal as the management companies take a large cut for doing a job that is not very involved and provides no benefit to the consumer. There is less incentive for an appraiser to do the added work/research/ documentation that ensures they have painted a true picture of the subject’s market to an underwriter, since their additional work/ market knowledge is not rewarded with additional business. It’s sort of a socialist approach to things, definitely not a system in which professionals are motivated by anything other than their good character to give it their all. I find the whole thing a waste of time and money, and extremely detrimental to the industry and the economy.
    Both Buyers and Sellers feel devastated, betrayed & used. Buyers pay higher rates for an appraisal, and most often, is required to pay for two, and end up in lost sale & money. The loss to both Buyers and Sellers is magnified because with a sale timeline, they made plans , gave vacating notice to landlord, contracted with movers, purchased airline tickets, worked on school selection, sold some of their furnishings, may be sold their car, packed their house hold goods and, got the devastating news ten days or so before scheduled closing date.
    Fannie and Freddie’s policy of only buying loans that were appraised under the HVCC code, will add more problems to financial institutions. So, Fannie, Freddie, now that your Instructions to slice and dice the home valuations are a sure way to foreclosures & short sales & in no way will protect property values; is there anything in the works to move the housing market into positive territory?
    Kay F Osman, R, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, SRES
    E-mail: dosman888@aol.com

  13. Jon Gardikis

    With all due respect, this is embarrassing. FAQs??? The housing market, consumers and real estate agents nation wide are being held ransom by sloppy appraisers and I am supposed to be excited that I can get a FAQ page? I was seriously hoping that our national association had teeth, muscle and whatever else needed to actually fight for us and our clients.

  14. Christian Weibell

    I too was excited by the possibility of improving the short sale process. It’s very frustrating for everyone involved (agents and clients) when the bank doesn’t return email or voicemail for months at a time and offers at, or even above, current market value fall off the table. With the number of short sales on the rise it makes a lot of sense for government intervention to facilitate an expedited review and approval process for short sales.

  15. Kim

    Sounds great, I’ll believe it when I see it. Doing so many short sales, the banks hold up many sales for months. I’d like more pressure put on the banks and Washington to move these short sales along. I have had offers on several properties for over 5 months! It is amazing to me how they are losing money in short sales by their “systems” Buyers get tired of waiting & move on to other properties.

  16. Joan Huhn

    I AM A BROKER AND A STATE
    CERTIFIED APPRAISER.
    THE HVCC WILL PUT ALL APPRAISERS OUT OF BUSINESS.
    THAT IS A FACT.THERE IS NO WAY ANYONE CAN AFFORD TO BE AN APPRAISER. AS PROVEN THE CORRUPT BANKING SYSTEM HAS NO INTEREST IN LONG TERM ECONOMY. THEY ARE BLAMING EVERYONE BUT THE FACT THEY DE REGULATED THE SYSTEM.NOONE IS GOING INTO THE APPRAISAL BUSINESS ( WHICH CAN BE CHECKED WITH THE SCHOOLS )BANKS WANT COMPLETE CONTROL, WHICH THEY SEEM TO BE GETTING. DID ANYONE KNOW OR CARE THAT THE MANAGEMENT COMPANIES ARE ALMOST ALL OWNED BY THE LENDERS? THEY ARE RUINING ALL YOUR DEALS WITH THEIR DEMANDS.THEY PREFER LOW APPRAISALS AT THIS TIME AND IF YOU DON’T GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT, THEY BLACKBALL YOU. THEY CALL IT POOR QUALITY AND THEN HAND YOU A
    SECONDARY LIST OF ADDITIONAL COMPS THAT THEY FOUND THAT ARE GENERALLY HORRIBLE AND NOT APPLICABLE.THEY THEN TELL YOU WHAT THE APPRAISAL SHOULD HAVE COME IN AT AND WE HAVE NO RECOURSE OTHER THAN STARVATION.
    WHY ARE THEY ALLOWED TO HIRE INEXPERIENCED PEOPLE THAT KNOW NOTHING.I HAVE HAD UNBELEIVABLE EXPERIENCES WITH TOTALLY INCOMPETANT PEOPLE THAT ARE
    ALLOWED TO RUIN SALES,AND GOOD APPRAISALS, THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. I WOULD BE GLAD TO PROVIDE MY PRINTOUTS OF EXAMPLES OF THE ABOVE. WE HAVE TOO SMALL OF A VOICE TO GO AGAINST THE SYSTEM. TIME WILL TELL HOWEVER I WILL BE VERY SURPRISED IF THERE ARE APPRAISERS IN THE NEXT 20 YEARS.
    I WOULDN’T BE SURPRISED IF YOU WILL BUY A HOUSE THRU THE COMPUTER AT THE BANK AND FORGET REALTORS.ONE STOP SHOPPING.
    THIS ENTIRE SYSTEM IS SO UNJUST, IT IS UNREAL.
    OFF COURSE THERE ARE BAD APPRAISERS, BAD REALTORS, BAD IN EVERYTHING BUT I HAVE BEEN IN REAL ESTATE FOR 35 YEARS AND HAVE NEVER SEEN SUCH DISRESPECT
    FOR A PROFESSION AS WE HAVE
    NOW.
    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING

  17. Mollie Duncklee

    Charles, We are close to closing down our appraisal business due to the HVCC. We thought we had one last chance to save October 1st with Licensed appraisers no longer being able to do FHA appraisals. It appears that the HVCC/AMC’s have snuck in and now are stealing the last appraisals we can do for our clients and realtors. A FAQ letter is NOT going to improve matters for purchasing a home and refinancing. The only thing that will save the consumer is stopping this HVCC altogether! It is only making AMC’s rich and putting every independent appraiser out of business. Please keep focusing on moratorium or complete reversal of HVCC. How is it, this regulation slipped under the radar with the power to put almost every qualified appraiser out of business?? Mollie Duncklee MD Real Estate Specialists, Inc.
    President/ Realtor

  18. Gail Vesely

    the banks are not working with Realtors to get these houses sold in a short sale, rather than a forclosure, Bank of America in particular treats me, the Realtor in this transaction, like I’m the bad guy, and I receive zero respect, or communications that I have requested for more than 6 weeks, 1 (one) simple question is all I need answered.

  19. Jean Fox

    I have been unable to get a single shortsale to close. I have worked by myself on them, with attornies, “experts”, all unsuccessful. I beleive lenders have monetary gains in foreclosures. They can go to the pmi cos, and ultimately go to the public trough, where they are taking billions. Any common sense person or investor would have taken 5% on their money over loosing half the principal due to foreclosure. The lenders are still raising interest rates on homes and commercial properties, I know mine went to 10% and no one will do anything about it. My loan documents say 2.25% over prime, but Wells Fargo raised my interest rate to 10% after buying my community bank. I’ve gone to every banking regulator I know about, my congresman, my senators, and no one will do anything. It is the greed of the lenders that has caused this world wide economic crisis.

  20. Maggie Edwards

    I have been in the field for over a month and ahalf Looking for a home for my buyers, I am also a 5 year veteran, and am here to tell you I am (*^%*&%$ off. I have never ever seen this kind of stuff before. Home after home after home, my clients offers were refused, after might I add waiting for a week or more to find out after they took 20 or so offers….are you kidding me…..These so called Homesteps are one operation that I will pursuede my folks to stay clear of. I walked away from three deals and I walked away with a very bitter taste in my mouth. Also I came across 20 or 30 agents sitting on supposidly a AVAILABLE house, according to MLS, and just to find out it was already taken, and or in escrow, pending or sold even….hello AGENTS update the MLS for those of us who are ALTUALLY trying to get our clients into a home that deserve it. One tired lady and one upset lady and ashamed of what I found going on. THis should be my job of finding out the people who are not doing there jobs correctly. Boy would I be good at it, and only in a month and a half……..

  21. ROSIE GARCIA

    Thank you Charles,
    You are doing a superb job in advocating for all the Realtors and specially in this hot topic of short sales. I’m a realtor who list and sales short sales. The majority of my business come from short sales. you’re appreciated!!
    keep up the good job. thank you, thank you!!!

  22. Donna Rogers

    The real emphasis should be on keeping people in their homes. Short sales do nothing for the homeowner but give them bad credit, nearly as bad as foreclosures. Most homeowners would rather stay in their homes even if the balances they owed were more than the home would sell for in a short sale. If loan modifications lowered principal balances closer to short sale values, people could keep their credit, there would be less homes on the market, and before long prices would raise and we would again be making reasonable commissions on homes not controlled by the banks. Every time a homeowner is forced into a short sale or a foreclosure we lose one more homebuyer for a number of years.

  23. I was just involved in a short sale. The paperwork was unbelievable, the documentation was unbelievable and it It takes way too long to close a loan. Lets get into the electronic world and streamline this process. Set up a new “secure” network call it “.RE” ( for Real Estate instead of “.com”) and let all parties involved in the process have access to the documentation online, where the entire process can be tracked and approved and closed. Please set up a committee to study this suggestion and lets make our world much more enjoyable.

  24. Art

    I guess no one is actually addressing a new and very real problem, the same type that created this mess only in a different form. I am bombarded daily by the so called short sale experts selling courses to un educated and sometimes criminal elements, all in an effort to as they say “Help the consumer and the economy” unload foreclosed and pre forclosed property. Does anyone see a future here? How can you have a market strengthen when you have these people driving down comps, which in turn drives down value, which in return creates more short sales and foreclosure exposure? Am I the only one looking past today? These clowns need to be regulated just like the mortgage industry.

  25. Mr. McMillan,
    First, thank you for your continued efforts to support us in the current market.
    I am a Certified Default Resolution Specialist, Elite. This means that I have been through an extensive short sale training course and participating in a one year program. This program supports the CDRS with an online forum, a database of lender contacts that is kept up to date, and continuing education and updates in a timely manner. The owner/directors of this program has been working with NAR,Fannie Mae,Freddie Mac,and others to standardize the SS process, all a great effort.
    Current initiatives with the federal lenders and insurers to streamline the process, support non reduction of commission and incentives to lenders to close short sales is not enough. If you read carefully, you will find that this is still voluntary. In addition, there is nothing being done about conventional loans. They can do what they want. The investors are slow to respond and in our groups current experience, they seem to not care if the homeowner goes to foreclosure.
    In addition, the IRS is another problem. They state in their publication IRS 784 that they have streamlined their process to 30 days or less to help the distressed homeowner sell their homes by removing the lien from the property. From experience, this is not happening either.
    With all due respect, the ‘government initiatives’ to assist homeowners looks good on paper, but it is an abysmal failure. While there are some banks that have made progress, most short sale departments of the largest banks in the nation are the worst to get through to, as well as to communicate with. Even with ‘insider knowledge’, the process is very difficult.
    Bonnie Godwin Associate Broker, GRI, e-PRO, CDRS Elite
    Crye-Leike, Realtors REO Div
    Equity Solution Team
    501-960-2788

  26. I can’t decide if the policy makers are insane or evil, because there is no other explaination for the current situation. Why do local Realtors know how to help solve the problem, but giant bank and government experts do not? It was well said long ago: In God we trust, all others pay cash.

  27. Francine Panuccio

    Quoting you on a statement in this blog(see below): in this context please define “servicers”.
    “Specifically, I thanked Freddie for coming out with guidelines that do not allow servicers to reduce commissions on short sales deals.”
    Thank you.

  28. Marcial Ramirez

    It is clear to a lot of Realtors, buyers, seller, etc. that lenders, specially Bank of America, are working very hard in making sure properties go to foreclosure. Bank of America takes 5 or 6 months to respond to a short sale and has great succes in making this process very difficult, with horrible endings. Our company has sol several properties in short sale this year, but will never forget how Bank of America got a lot of families out of their homes.

  29. When are the people in this country going to wake up and realize that the federal government with the HVCC guidelines is stealing equity from their real investments,including their personal residences ???

  30. brandi Kaufmann

    to stop the hvcc google “HVCC Petition” and it will take you to a place to sign the petion. we have to stop this, any “incorporation” of the HVCC to any degree is a hinderance to appraising.

  31. Vivian Hopkins

    When appraisers are sent from Phoenix (250 miles away) to do an appraisal in Bullhead City, when there are perfectly competent appraisers right here, that is TOTALLY wrong.
    There is one appraisal company that is demanding that utilities be on when the appraisal is done. Why, they are not home inspectors! The foreclosure banks only allow the utilities to be on until the last inspection is done. Someone has to pay to have them turned back on. Guess who! The listing broker, that’s who! Out of their pocket. They are not reimbursed for this extra expense by anyone.
    Oh, yes, then there are the fees charged by the asset management companies for the listing Broker sending them invoices for things that the listing Broker had to put out of pocket for. Yes, indeed. If the listing Broker had to have the utilities on for inspection, at their expense, then send the invoice for payment, they are charged a fee. This fee is deducted from their reimbursement check. No options.
    Then their are the BPO orders. We receive the order, we do the BPO based upon the COMPS that are available, then we get instructions to revise it. Find better comps! What do they expect us to do? Pull them out of a hat?
    Then there are the Buyers we are loosing because the banks take so long to respond to offers. I have written 3 good offers, on 3 different homes for a CASH Buyer. Two of these offers were withdrawn by the Buyer because the banks did not respond in a reasonable amount of time. I am talking about waiting 3 – 4 weeks for an answer. Only 1 of these homes was a short sale. We are still waiting for an answer on it, and it has now been almost 4 weeks since we submitted the offer. My Buyers are now talking about withdrawing this offer.
    Then there are the poor Sellers who cannot sell their homes, because they cannot compete with the foreclosures. Their homes will soon be foreclosures.
    Everywhere I go, the main topic of discussion is how the banks are keeping the market depressed by their “inactions”. Buyers can’t get loans completed in a timely manner. The foreclosure bank is fining the Buyer $100 – $150 per day for for having to extend escrow because the Buyers bank cannot get the deal done on time. Talk about collusion. Especially when one of the banks owns the other one. example Chase Bank and WaMu.
    Keep working on this one. I feel that everyone is gettin a raw deal here. The Buyer, The Appraiser, the Real Estate Agents & Brokers.The only ones profitting are the Banks, and they are doing it on the taxpayers backs!

  32. Whoever decided to the term for Short Sale should be shot. It’s more like the longest sale of your life.
    My husband & I have been working on a short sale for 6 months. We have secured 3 Buyers for the property and 2 Buyers could not wait. The 3rd Buyer is an ALL CASH DEAL and I was told by the Bank that because I did not send in a short sale contract within 15 days of the foreclosure date, they would not entertain the offer. This is insane. All cash deal – and because of technicality they refused to review our offer.
    If anyone needs to know how to get in touch with the people who regulate these Banks and file a complaint – we know how to do that.
    Six months later, all cash deal and the Bank won’t review. I can see why other agents are saying they don’t want anything to do with short sales. However, the stark reality is that we don’t really have a choice.
    Thank you President McMillan for all you are trying to do! We appreciate all your effort! It is not going unnoticed. If there is one thing we’ve learned, is NEVER GIVE UP!!

  33. scott barraclough

    Why can’t we put some pressure on Bank of America short sale department to change their process of doing short sales. I am involved with about 6 and have not closed any yet while others have closed in 2-3 months. I know they absorbed Countrywide’s files and there has to be alot but this is embarrassing that we NAR takes this sitting on the sideline.

  34. Pat Williams

    Short sales are for the most part absolute nighmares. While my office does not solicit this type of listing they come to us through past clients and referrals. We have been successful in closing some, but the commission we ultimately receive does not begin to compensate the time, effort, frustration and distraction they bring. When you have a second lien holder involved they become exponentially harder to close. Instead of one lender ignoring your efforts you have two being unresponsive.
    One of my agents attended a town hall meeting held by Congressman Carson. The topic: foreclosures and how to keep people in their homes. Being an ex-teacher she took along a visual aid: a large tote bag from a NAR convention filled with pre-foreclosure listings that totaled over a million dollars in sales that could close through a short sale. People were appalled at the wasted potential in those files. Potential for homeowners who cannot stay in their homes and need to exit with as much dignity as possible, real estate agents who work hard to help sellers in need and buyers who want to own, and taxpayers who ultimately bear the brunt of the inefficiency and apparent indifference in our lending institutions and government.
    President McMillan, if the federal government really wants to help homeowners who cannot remain in their homes, and the families who live in the neighborhoods where these homes exist, they need to implement a plan where short sales can be efficiently and effectively processed. Besides the tens of thousands of dollars more that we could have sold those homes for, the neighborhoods would not have had “another foreclosed home” to add to the diminishing values of those around it. Homeowners who pay their mortgages on time are being penalized by a loss in value because the banks can’t get the pre-foreclosure process right. Is it they are that inept or that they just don’t care?
    Please continue to be our voice – loud and clear, so those that need to, hear.

  35. Greg Dexter

    ANTICIPATE MUCH HIGHER FEES FOR APPRAISALS IN THE FUTURE. The new HVCC guidelines are leading to the end of the appraisal firm. Appraisal companies typically split the fee with staff appraisers 50/50. Now that the management companies are taking $100-$200 of the fee there is typically only $50.00 – $100.00 forwarded to the staff appraiser. HVCC will result in home based one-man shops. Appraisal companies are typically the entry point for trainee appraisers. The fees resulting from HVCC provide little, to no, incentive for incoming trainee appraisers. The result in 5 – 10 years will be a shortage of appraisers. The shortage will eventually result in ever increasing fees for appraisals. The sad thing is that the true professional appraisers are now leaving, or plan to leave, the profession. Appraisals are reviewed by non-appraisal management company clerks. Appraisers who once took pride in the profession are de-motivated and disrespected. In the end the industry will pay higher fees for less competent appraisers. Government, as typical, does not understand the unintended consequences of there appraisal industry takeover.

  36. Bob Mehlick

    I hear many complaints about the “fiasco” called “short sales”. Everyone says that the way the banks are acting makes no sense. You can read hundreds of blogs about all of the horror stories. I have yet to read an article where the banks actually give any reasoning for their lack of action. It seems the banks do not feel the need to communicate whatsoever on this subject. Does anyone know of an article or a congressional hearing where the banks give any explanation for their arrogant actions?

  37. I started in RE during the late 80′s and processed short sales during that declining market; it is disappointing that from that time we have not streamilined the short sale process after a DECADE. Alot of homeowners would prefer to stay in their homes but there are numerous homeowners who cannot due to illness, divorce & other life changing circumstances. These are the owners who have lost equity due to the market decline but still Have to Sell. I have seen some heart breaking true hardship stories and the stress and complication of the shortsale process make difficult situations WORSE. LETS TAKE THE MYSTERY out of the
    SHORTSALE process and provide standardized guidelines and communication that is so often lacking in order for us to HELP the LENDERS move INVENTORY that is headed to foreclosure!ISN’T IT ABOUT TIME!

  38. Stuart Scholer

    More and more short sales coming on the market. I am juggling more Buyers than I have ever had in my 7 year career as a Realtor. I tell them up front that I will not represent them on short sales. They ask why. I tell them the truth about all the risks and encourage them to do their own research if they have doubts. They are all invariably in agreement with me. They do not even want to see the short sales. Let the Banks eat them for breakfast. Houston, Texas.

  39. Jim Adair

    This is great to read all of these commentaries…I released my realtors license this year because of the same discusting results many other realtors are having and are going through. I currently still have my certified state appraisal license, however i have not done any appraisals since amc’s have taken over. I will just sit back and wait for the government to realize they really need to take a look at how the Attorney in New York revised matters in such a way as to completely shut down the appraisal, mortgage broker and real estate business all while costing tax payers and homeowners BILLIONS.

  40. Patricia

    I agree with many of the comments already made. This whole short sale program is a joke. The lenders are not involved, not realistic about the solution, and many times rude to the client and the Realtor.
    The client will most likely lose their credit for years. If the lenders were more interested in a real solution they would figure out a better way to allow the home owner to stay in their home and pay off the debt as the market turns around. Then everyone wins.
    It is another bureaucratic nightmare. How about they hire all the out of work Realtors to be the loss mitigation representatives for the lender and we will find a better way.

  41. Paul Ryan

    I am a licensed appraiser and realtor in Arizona. I was very dimayed to see that the only discussuion about HVCC was the FAQ pages. Whst ever happened to the legislation that was proposed to halt the HVCC rules? Guess the NAR has decided not to strongly oppose the HVCC (to the detriment of realtors everywhere). Too bad they got intimidated by the FED agencies. Sounds like the NAR is part of the problem–not part of the solution.

  42. Jacqui Jeffress

    Charles, You are and have done a great job for the Realtor community. I sometimes feel as though the powers that be are trying to get rid of all of us! The HVCC only adds another layer to a difficult process. Not all appraisers were dishonest, only a few were, and it seems as though the whole institution was being blamed for our current situation.
    A short sale is a miserable process & I don’t see any way to get the banks to be reasonable. They are over-whelmed with the amount of short sales and do not have systems in place to rectify the process. Can we do anything about this?

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