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Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives

Federal government program offers alternatives to foreclosure. If you’re struggling to make your monthly home loan payments and are worried that you may be heading towards a foreclosure, this federal government program offers alternatives for settling your mortgage debt.

Is the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program right for me?

Program goal

Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives is part of the federal government's Making Home Affordable program. You may qualify for financial assistance to help with relocation costs. This type of short sale may completely release you from your mortgage debt.

With Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (also known as HAFA), we can determine an appropriate list price and start pursuing approvals before you list the property or receive an offer.

Eligibility

You may be eligible for a HAFA short sale if:

Your loan isn't guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac

How do I know?

To find out if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, simply call the toll-free numbers below or use their online lookup tools.

Fannie Mae:

1.800.7FANNIE (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET) www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup Opens a new window

Freddie Mac:

1.800.FREDDIE (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET) www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage Opens a new window

You took out your mortgage before January 1, 2009

Your mortgage is past due or your loan is current but you believe you’ll miss a payment soon

The amount you owe on your first mortgage is equal to or less than:
- $729,750 for a single-family home
- $934,200 for a 2-unit property
- $1,129,250 for a 3-unit property
- $1,403,400 for a 4-unit property

You're experiencing a hardship such as a reduction of income, medical expenses or a divorce

The property isn't condemned

HAFA eligibility requirements may vary. Learn more.

If you have an FHA loan, try selling your property in an FHA Short Sale.

If a short sale is completed on your property, we'll report that your loan was "paid in full for less than the full balance." Learn more about the potential effect of a HAFA short sale on your credit.

You should contact a tax professional to gain an understanding of any tax implications.

If you don't meet the eligibility requirements for the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program, you may qualify for the Cooperative Short Sale program. This provides another alternative to foreclosure and also offers relocation assistance. If you aren't eligible for either program, you may want to consider a traditional short sale.

How do I get started with a Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives short sale?

Before we begin

If you haven't applied for a Home Affordable Modification prior to requesting a HAFA short sale, we'll check to see if you meet that program’s eligibility requirements first.

Call us today at:
1.866.880.1232

Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-10 p.m. ET
Sat 11 a.m.-4 p.m. ET

Now that I'm in the process, what's next?

I'm interested in a Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives short sale.

First, if you haven't already applied for a Home Affordable Modification, we'll check to see if you meet that program’s eligibility requirements. To do this, we'll need you to update us on your financial information.

Next, if you're not able to keep the property, we'll help you determine if you're eligible for a Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives short sale. This may require additional documentation. If more forms are needed, we'll send them to you.

Within 30 calendar days after you've submitted all of your required documents, we'll determine if you meet the program's guidelines and notify you of our decision.

HAFA eligibility requirements may vary. Learn more.

I’m waiting for approval on a HAFA short sale.

We'll work to determine a recommended list price. You may have heard this referred to as the fair market value.

A valuation of the property will be performed at no charge to you. We'll consider the sale price of other properties of similar size in your neighborhood.

We'll also work to gain approvals. Even if you’re pursuing a short sale with us, in most cases there’s a third party, known as the investor, who has ownership of the loan. We’ll need their approval in order to finalize the short sale.

If you have a Bank of America home equity loan or home equity line of credit, we’ll take care of getting approvals for your HAFA Short Sale request.

If your home equity loan or line of credit is with another lender, you'll have to contact that lender and request a Second Lien Release form. The second lien lender will be required to provide us with the appropriate lien release documentation before any offer can be considered. Speak with a licensed real estate agent about other types of liens that may also need approval in order for you to move forward with your short sale.

After the valuation and approvals, you’ll receive a Short Sale Notice with the recommended list price for the property. This notice will be your approval into the program and will provide the terms and conditions to successfully complete the program.

HAFA eligibility requirements may vary. Learn more.

I'm trying to find a buyer.

You're required to work with a licensed real estate professional to market and sell your house.

We strongly recommend working with a real estate agent who's experienced in short sales and who can help guide you through the process. You won't have to pay the commissions of the real estate agent since they will be paid from the sale of the house.

Typically, you'll have 120 calendar days to market and sell your house at the price listed in your HAFA Short Sale Notice. During this time, it's important to:

  • Work with your agent and show your house to as many buyers as possible
  • Keep your house in clean condition
  • Make it available for showings to potential buyers at all times

The short sale must be an arm’s-length market transaction. This means that it's not permissible to sell the house to a family member or anyone else with whom you have a personal or business relationship.

HAFA eligibility requirements may vary. Learn more.

I've received an offer on my house.

Once you receive an offer, your real estate agent will be asked to submit the offer (signed by the buyer) within three business days. We'll then determine if the proposed sale is consistent with the HAFA Short Sale Notice.

For your short sale to be successfully completed, your agent must:

  • Submit any requested documents on time
  • Respond quickly to any counteroffers you receive

Within ten business days of receiving documentation, we'll provide our decision on the offer. If the offer is accepted, we'll provide you with an approval letter releasing the house for purchase. You'll also receive a letter outlining the details of the sale of your house.

HAFA eligibility requirements may vary. Learn more.

The offer on my house was accepted.

In order to complete the sale, we must receive all signed, notarized documents. In addition, all borrowers on your loan as well as all buyers of the property will need to sign a HAFA Affidavit. The closing can only take place after we receive the affidavit.

At the closing, you'll receive $3,000–$30,0001 to help with moving, rental and other relocation expenses. If you're not the primary resident of your property, you may request that the tenant receive $3,000 in HAFA relocation assistance. Any additional amount above $3,000 may be paid to you.

Please note: For tax purposes, relocation assistance paid at closing is considered income. Please consult a tax advisor for more information on how this could affect you.

Once the sale is finalized, your mortgage and any other loans against the house are settled from the proceeds of the sale. Under the HAFA program, you're fully relieved of any obligation to repay the mortgage. As with the sale of any house, unless otherwise negotiated, you'll need to move out by the closing date.

HAFA eligibility requirements may vary. Learn more.

1 The relocation assistance payment is calculated based on the appraised value of your property and the program rules. The total amount will be no less than $2,500, but no more than $30,000. The payment will be delivered after the closing if you comply with all terms and conditions of the program, which include but are not limited to the following: a valuation of the property must be completed and you must satisfy all subordinate liens and provide clear title for the property. If you are still responsible for a deficiency balance after the sale, you should be aware that this relocation assistance will increase that deficiency since it reduces the amount available to apply towards your mortgage debt. If you do not comply with all terms and conditions of the program, you will not receive the relocation assistance payment. The amount of any relocation assistance will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the appropriate 1099 Form or Forms. We suggest that you contact the IRS or your tax preparer to determine if you have any tax liability. In order to receive the relocation assistance, the short sale must close by April 30, 2014. Bank of America reserves the right to change or alter the relocation assistance at any time.

Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Frequently Asked Questions

Depending on your loan and circumstances, it may be possible. Please call us to discuss your options.

In that case, it may be possible to sell the property via an FHA Short Sale.

You may still be able to pursue a HAFA short sale. Please call us to discuss your options.

You can search for real estate professionals in your area who are experienced with Bank of America short sales.

Because you would sell your home for less than the loan amount in a short sale, you won't receive any money from the sale of your house. However, you may be eligible to receive $3,000–$30,0001 in relocation assistance under the terms of the HAFA Short Sale Notice. If you aren't the primary resident of your property, you may request that the tenant receive the $3,000 in HAFA relocation assistance. Any additional amount above $3,000 may be paid to you.

You may still settle your mortgage debt by signing over your property to us through a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

There are benefits to doing a deed in lieu over a foreclosure. A deed in lieu of foreclosure spares you from having to go through the public auction or sale of your property.

If you sign your property over to us in a deed in lieu of foreclosure after trying to sell your property through the Home Affordable Foreclosure alternatives program, you may be eligible to receive up to $3,000 to help you with moving, rental and relocation expenses.

A loan can be transferred to a different servicer while in the process of a short sale. You may hear this referred to as a service release. A loan servicer sends your loan statements, collects your monthly payments (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) and handles other aspects of your loan. You'll be notified at least 15 calendar days in advance if your loan is going to be transferred to a new servicer. Your new servicer will be aware of your short sale status and should have received all of your documents from us. You should continue to work with the new servicer to complete the process you've started or to determine which programs may be most helpful in your current situation.

If you were denied home loan assistance, such as a request for a loan modification, short sale or deed in lieu you may be able to dispute the decision. You can file an escalated case with us if you have reason to believe any of the following are true:

  • You met all the criteria for home loan assistance but were not properly evaluated for assistance or were improperly denied assistance. This may include:
    • You did not receive adequate notice from us about your foreclosure alternatives
    • You were not given appropriate time to respond to communications from us during your loan review process
  • Your loan was referred to foreclosure prematurely, or we did not suspend foreclosure activities when we were required to do so

You can also file an escalated case if either of these two specific concerns apply to your loan:

  • You have a reasonable belief that your mortgage loan is being serviced in a fraudulent manner
  • You have retained a lawyer to help you resolve a mortgage dispute with Bank of America

If you have reason to believe that any of the above apply in connection with your loan review and affected your eligibility for home loan assistance, you may file an escalated case with us to review your concerns.

Please note that inquiries about a pending request for home loan assistance or general questions about the servicing of your mortgage do not meet the requirements for an escalated case. For general servicing questions, please call 1.800.669.6607 (Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. local time).

To file an escalated case, you or any third party representing you, such as a housing counselor or attorney, should send us a brief letter describing the specific reasons you believe one of the above scenarios applies to your loan or to your application for home loan assistance. If you are represented by an attorney, please have your lawyer submit this request on your behalf.

Escalated case requests must be sent by mail to the following address:

  • Bank of America Corporate Center
    Attn: BAC Escalated Case Unit
    P.O. Box 940508
    Simi Valley, CA 93094-0508

Please note that if a third party, such as an advisor or a nonprofit advocate, contacts us to submit an escalated case on your behalf, we must have your written authorization before we can communicate with them about you or your loan. Without your written authorization, we will not be able to discuss your home loan with them. We can provide you with an authorization form upon request.

What to expect after submitting your request

Within three business days after receipt:

  • If your submission meets the requirements for an escalated case, within three business days of the receipt of your request, we will send you a written acknowledgement that we have received your request. This acknowledgement will also include the estimated date by which your escalated case should be resolved, along with a toll-free number for the Escalated Case Unit.

Within 15 calendar days after receipt:

  • In most cases, within 15 calendar days of receiving your request, we will mail you a written response describing the proposed resolution of your request and any next steps to be followed by you or by us. If your matter cannot be resolved within 15 calendar days, we will notify you of the delay and give you a new estimated resolution date. This new estimated resolution date, in most cases, will be no longer than 30 calendar days from the date we received your original escalated case.

Checking the status of your escalated case

Your written confirmation will include a toll-free number you can call for information about your escalated case.

1 The relocation assistance payment is calculated based on the appraised value of your property and the program rules. The total amount will be no less than $2,500, but no more than $30,000. The payment will be delivered after the closing if you comply with all terms and conditions of the program, which include but are not limited to the following: a valuation of the property must be completed and you must satisfy all subordinate liens and provide clear title for the property. If you are still responsible for a deficiency balance after the sale, you should be aware that this relocation assistance will increase that deficiency since it reduces the amount available to apply towards your mortgage debt. If you do not comply with all terms and conditions of the program, you will not receive the relocation assistance payment. The amount of any relocation assistance will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the appropriate 1099 Form or Forms. We suggest that you contact the IRS or your tax preparer to determine if you have any tax liability. In order to receive the relocation assistance, the short sale must close by April 30, 2014. Bank of America reserves the right to change or alter the relocation assistance at any time.