U.S. Treasury Offers Resources for Distressed Sales

The U.S. Treasury has expanded its presence in the housing market with the intention of accelerating the real estate recovery. Learn about resources it offers for short sales, foreclosure prevention, and more.

April 2, 2013

The U.S. Treasury has played a large and unprecedented role in getting the housing market on the road to recovery. And one of the most influential people in this development has been Laurie Maggiano, director of policy within the Treasury Department’s Office of Homeownership Preservation.

Maggiano — who is one of the architects of the government-backed Making Home Affordable program, which created uniform guidelines for loan modifications, Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives short sales, and foreclosure prevention — used to be a real estate broker. She has worked for the Federal Housing Administration and in many other housing-related positions.

Her work at Treasury has not only helped servicers and investors adopt HAFA short sales, but also led to new guidelines that include making deficiency releases and relocation money standard when it comes to these transactions. Maggiano and her team were also responsible for programs that have helped so many people across the country avoid foreclosure.

I was recently invited to the U.S. Treasury headquarters in Washington, D.C., for an exclusive interview with Maggiano. In this conversation, she covered everything from Making Home Affordable to short sales.

She also went over changes made this year to both HAFA and all other short sales. These changes affect procedures regarding short-sale timelines and occupancy restrictions, along with an increase in payments to second mortgages and relocation assistance to sellers.

If you’ve ever dealt with a short sale, you know they can be difficult. In this interview, Maggiano talks about the escalation tool agents and consumers can use if they get stuck in the short-sale process and the servicer or investor is not responding. A detailed explanation of where to get the tool and how to use it is provided, as are some tips and advice on how to be more successful with closing short sales.

The Treasury department also offers marketing materials for real estate professionals that explain foreclosure-prevention options in detail. These items can be ordered directly for free so you can give them to potential consumers who need further information on this subject.

Below is one of the videos, which talks about new HAFA guidelines. For the full range of interview clips, go here.

Brandon Brittingham has been involved in several hundred short sales and has helped families avoid foreclosure across the country. Brittingham is the co-author of the SSC (Short Sale Campus Certified) designation and was named one of REALTOR® Magazine’s 30 Under 30 in 2012.