SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- MLSListings, Inc.(MLSListings) today announced its participation in the Fannie Mae Short Sale Assistance Desk program, as the first MLS in California to enable real estate professionals to help quickly resolve issues arising on short sales where Fannie Mae is a primary lender.
"We are pleased to partner with the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® in implementing Fannie Mae's Short Sale Assistance Desk, because it marks an important step forward in helping homebuyers, sellers and our subscribers avoid the frustrations and complexities so common in short sale transactions," said MLSListings CEO, Jim Harrison. "Access to the Assistance Desk will help our agents and brokers work to resolve cases where the short sale approval channel has slowed down, so their clients can close the transaction, first and foremost, and do so in a more timely manner."
The new system, exclusive to real estate agents who are members of the participating multiple listing service (MLS), will help significantly reduce processing times for many short sale transactions—which can take as long as nine months or more. For consumers, the new industry system can help sellers avoid foreclosure, and give prospective buyers confidence that a short sale transaction is a viable homebuying option. It further underscores the importance of working with a real estate professional.
"This initiative is another tool to help the short sale transaction process along -- reducing unnecessary delays,—helping troubled borrowers avoid foreclosure, and helping short sale buyers finalize their sales," said Fannie Mae vice president, Marcel Bryar.
Fannie Mae launched the Assistance Desk to help streamline the short sale process by leveraging relationships between participating MLSs and their members to collect and submit information to Fannie Mae using a dedicated submission form on the MLSListings website. Participating MLSs also provide Fannie Mae with data to improve property valuations and make quicker approval decisions on short sale requests.
"Because a short sale presents a viable alternative to foreclosure, this can offer significant relief to homeowners who have been under water with their mortgage, and also provides new support for homebuyers looking to get into the market," explained Robert Bailey, president of real estate brokerage Bailey Properties and chairman of the Board of Directors for MLSListings.
The Short Sale Assistance Desk staff can accept cases involving properties with a first-lien owned by Fannie Mae, and the servicer must be in receipt of a valid offer for the property. Real estate professionals who submit cases must be a subscriber of the participating MLS, must be the listing agent for the property, and must obtain a signed Borrower Authorization Form from the homeowner(s). A case may also be submitted to the Assistance Desk if the real estate professional has received an approval from the servicer for the transaction, and either the mortgage insurer or second lien holder has imposed a closing condition that is not possible for the borrower to meet.
"While real estate professionals are expected to first make a reasonable effort to resolve issues by working through the servicer, the Assistance Desk staff will help in the event the servicer has not provided an initial response within 20 days, a final property valuation within 30 days, or a final decision or specific direction to facilitate a decision within 60 days from the original offer submission date," Bryar added. "The Assistance Desk will expedite timely resolution, with many less complicated cases resolved in just a couple of weeks."
For more details about the Short Sale Assistance Desk, including the eligibility criteria and process for submitting a case, go to www.mlslistings.com
About MLSListings, Inc.
MLSListings, Inc. is a not-for-profit, California mutual benefit corporation formed in 2007 by a consortium of eight Northern California REALTOR® associations (Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Silicon Valley, San Mateo, Monterey, Watsonville, San Benito and Central Valley associations of REALTORS®). Currently, MLSListings represents more than 18,000 MLS subscribers, in 6,000 firms, in an area covering 28,000 square miles representing more than $70 billion in annual real estate transactions. For more information, please visit www.mlslistings.com.
About the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (http://www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 160,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.
About Fannie Mae
Fannie Mae exists to expand affordable housing and bring global capital to local communities in order to serve the U.S. housing market. Fannie Mae has a federal charter and operates in America's secondary mortgage market to enhance the liquidity of the mortgage market by providing funds to mortgage bankers and other lenders so that they may lend to home buyers. Our job is to help those who house America.
SOURCE MLSListings, Inc.