Home floating on a life preserver.According to the U.S. Treasury Department, more than 1.2 million homeowners have received permanent modifications through the Home Affordable Modification Program. The average savings being about $547.00 per month on the mortgage payment.   This accounts for almost 40% savings from the previous payment average.

For those that have received principal reductions, there has been granted, according to the Treasury, over 12.1 billion reduction in principal.   However, short sales are up.  The Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, showed less applications by September 2013 for loan modifications, then relief sought through short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure assistance.  The HAFA assistance program, that grants the majority of homeowners that short sale their primary residence, monetary incentives and a deficiency waiver of their balance, saw an increase in applications through September of this year.

As of September, servicers completed more than 226,000 HAFA transactions, up from the same time last year.  This may be caused by the fact that the properties are upside down, and the years of not paying for mortgages, has caused arrears to have increased significantly.  In a short sale, all arrears and balances are waived under HAFA, when it is the homeowners primary residence, or was for months preceding the application.

The top three states for HAFA short sale applications are California, Florida and Arizona.

A short sale application is easy and when the entire negotiation is handled by competent attorney and staff, the process is quick and seamless.  The lender will also pay all closing costs, and taxes and insurance. As well, as off the homeowner under HAFA an incentive depending on certain criteria, which can be as much as $35,000.00

Call us today for a free consultation to see if you qualify for a HAFA short sale or loan modification.  We have the start of the art programs that can qualify you to keep your home under HAMP or short sale it under HAFA.



TEL.  (305) 669-5280


short-sale-contractEffective October 1, 2013, HUD announced new and favorable changes to their FHA short sale requirements for homeowners seeking to short sale their homes.

This new Streamlined Short Sale, may no longer require the borrowers seeking a short sale to submit financial information or prove a financial hardship.

The following properties will be eligible:

  • Principal Residence
  • Second homes
  • Investment Properties
  • Military Service Members

The transaction must be an Arm’s Length Transaction wherein all the parties to the transaction, including buyer, seller and realtor, are required to sign an Arm’s Length Affidavit providing under penalties of perjury that they are not related as follows:

  1. Seller can not list the property with or sell to anyone with whom they have a close business relationship;
  2. The seller and buyer can not be related either by family, blood or business.

Any violation of this is considered a federal offense and violation of federal law.

Before closing, any and all liens and judgments against the seller must be released.  And this we are seeing ever so often wherein the short sale lender quickly and without thought, stops a short sale because the borrower has “judgments” or liens against them.  A name examination by a title agent as myself can decipher whether the liens or judgments do in fact belong to the homeowner. “Often times, it is a common name and by merely having the borrower seller sign a Non-Identify Affidavit, and submit it to the lender, that will not halt the short sale  negotiation and process. ” Jacqueline A. Salcines, Esq.

Servicers must now use a Deficit Income Test or (DIT) to determine the borrower’s financial hardship.

If qualified for a streamlined short sale, the borrower may not have to produce any financial documents or prove a financial hardship.

The appraisal or BPO is also done within 10 days and prepared for review quickly so that this too does not stall the process or approval

While the borrowers may be asked to make a cash contribution at closing, often times if the property is not the homestead of the borrower, cash Incentives to homeowners by lenders are being given.

Lastly, the FHA short sale addendum, where all parties agree that the property is an arms length transaction and there are no hidden terms or conditions in the short sale, must be signed and dated by all the parties at closing or when instructed by the lender.

If the borrower qualifies, cash incentives are offered by participating lenders including:

  • Bank of America
  • Chase
  • Ocwen
  • Wells Fargo

For negotiators of short sales, this means short waiting times, short document collection and quick approval times.

For the homeowner, this is great news in that the short sales will be approved quicker and the incentives may be given.

At the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA we can qualify you, free of charge for the streamlined short sale.

We work with many investors to find qualified buyers for your home and get the short sale approved at the best price possible.

Call us today for a free consultation.  Our reviews speak for themselves.


TEL>  305 | 669 | 5280

Stacks of One Hundred Dollar Bills with Small House.This is the million dollar question asked by homeowners that are looking to sell their property in today’s market.  Many clients are visiting our offices with the notion of a short sale or loan modification. However, once we are able to run the property on the MLX and prepare a Comparative Market Analysis by square footage, the property may be worth far more than originally anticipated.  This puts the seller in either a great position to sell, or in a terrible position with a second mortgage unable to short sale or modify or sell for a profit.

If there is no equity, second mortgages can still be settled for pennies on the dollar,  thus creating equity.  Then, a regular sale, not a short sale, can be had.  A short sale requires that the property be worth LESS than the first mortgage balance.  And the balance will be what the final judgment reveals after the foreclosure, if the property was foreclosed. Only an attorney can assess the true value and determine whether it is a short sale or not.

IF trying to modify, again the primary question is what is the property worth? The existing value of the property will be the single most important factor to determine whether qualify.  If the property is not upside down, that is the mortgage balance is less than the fair market value, then the lender will typically not modify.  The loan will most probably not fall into the Making Home Affordable Program.  The homeowner is then found in a bind because they can not sell, they can not modify and they can not short sale.  The only option left is to try and negotiate the balance with the lender.

At the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA, we have a staff of  attorneys, realtors and accountants, all knowledgeable in every aspect of the real estate field, to provide the most accurate and expert knowledge so that our clients can make an informed and proper decision with regard to their properties.

Call us today for a free consultation.  To see what your property is worth and whether a short sale or loan modification is in your future.

Offices in Coral Gables
Tel:  305 | 669 | 5280
Or email us at J.Salcines@Salcineslaw.com


Stacks of One Hundred Dollar Bills with Small House.Si Usted a tenida problemas de trabajo, de salud, de matrimonio o cualquier otra dificultad que ha hecho perjudicar los pagos hipotecarios, y esta buscando una manera para salir adelante, el short sale or programa de modificacion de Making HOme Affordable puede ser su mejor solucion.

El programa de short sale de HAFA brinda grandes ventajas.  Si es su residencia primaria y califica bajo el programa HAFA, puede ser que al terminar el Short Sale, el balance quede completamente borrado, puede Usted recibir incentivos monetarios de su banco, y evitar penalidades del 1099-C con el IRS.  Nosotros negociamos directamente con su banco para determiner el previo de venta acceptable por adelantado, para asegurar su mayor proteccion.

Si Usted tiene ingresos y quiere quedarse con su vivienda, el Programa de Modificacion bajo el Making Home Affordable es su mejor solucion para ayudarle a reducer los pagos hipotecarios, sea el balance o mensualidad, y reducer el interes, muchas veces hasta el 2%.

Y existen muchas otras alternativas!

Con tanto en juego, Usted se beneficiaria de la ayuda de un expert en viviendas.  Permita que la firma de abogados Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA revisa su estado financiero, a ningun costo para Usted.  Una vez que se revisa, se le ofrece la mejor solucion a su problema hipotecario.

Tambien ofrecemos foreclosure defense, defense de foreclosure, para parar su caso en la corte mientras buscamos su mejor alternativa.

Llamenos hoy para una consulta con la abogada Jacqueline A. Salcines, Esq., completamente gratis.


Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA
706 S. Dixie Highway
Second Floor
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
Tel:  305 | 669 | 5280



The main differences under the HAFA short sale that affect borrowers is the following:

  • No Occupancy Requirements – The borrower need not prove that the residence is their “primary residence” as defined under the Making Home Affordable rules.  The only restriction is that the borroewer may not have purchased a primary residence in previous 12 months.
  • The 31% Ratio No longer Used –  Mortgage payments are now permitted to exceed the 31% of gross monthly income if the borrower is current on their mortgage
  • Second Mortgage Paid $8,500.00 – Secondary lienholders (depending on investor) must now be paid $8,500.00 from the first lien holder
  • Relocation Assistance –  Seller/Borrowers must receive relocation incentices up to $3,000.00 (depending on investor and type of loan, and if occupied by the Tenant may receive the incentive $3,000.00
  • Credit Bureau Reporting –  Short Sale lender will now report the paid off account as account status code “13” which is account paid or close/account zero balance or code “65” account paid in full.foreclosure stated” as applicable.

Rules are also more lenient regarding whether the Short Sale is a result of a divorce, downsizing, as well as requriements regarding income reporting.

Of equal importance, is how the short sale and capital gains are being forgiven in the eyes of the IRS when the 1099-C is reported.

For up to the minute Short Sale information and to have you qualified, call THE LAW OFFICES OF JACQUELINE SALCINES, ESQ.

TRUST     |    COMMITMENT    |    RESULTS            TELEPHONE:  305.669.5280



You’ve all heard the story before, months and months of laboring to get the short sale approval, you finally get it and the second lien holder or mortgage company will not accept what the first lien holder is agreeing to pay them.  Result:  Now your short sale is held hostage.  The first will not pay more, the second will not accept less.  What are the alternatives to get this approved after so much hard work?short_sale

Well, first of all, anyone negotiating or selling their home in a short sale must be familiar with their rights. Under the HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative) Program, the first lien holder MUST, not may, MUST, pay the 2nd lien holder $8,500.00. There are rules that regulate this payout and therefore the 1st lien holder can not wiggle its way out of this.  And the 2nd lien holders are keenly aware of these regulations.

Now, if the short sale falls outside of the HAFA Program, then you have a dilemma.  For the most part, the 1st lien holder will request a payoff statement of the first and typically (I say typically because in short sales there is nothing typical), they will pay 10% or a maximum of $6,000.00

“I have been negotiating short sales for quite some time and they (the lenders), for the most part, do adhere to the 10% rule.  But, in the event they pay less and the 2nd lien holder demands more, this is NOT necessarily the end of the line.  There are still options.  If the borrower is receiving an incentive at closing from the 1st lien holder, the 1st bank will allow the borrower/seller to contribute that money towards paying off the 2nd.  They will also permit you to enter into a promissory note, usually at 0% interest, ten (10) years, in order to reach that number.  Or, in the alternative, all the other parties in the game can make some contributions. Often times, realtors as well as the buyer are agreeable to making certain concession in order for the great deal to go through.  After all, if the closing falls through, the nobody gets paid and the buyer doesnt get their property.”  –  Jacqueline A. Salcines, Esq.

So, while the 2nd lien holder can certainly hold a short sale hostage and there are no laws you can use to force them to agree to a payout, there are still some alternatives to make the short sale go through to closing.

Short sales are crafty games played by crafty players.  Everyone has to have some skin in the game to make the process work smoothly.

And, if it goes smoothly, then as in any games, there will be many winners, and perhaps a few losers (the banks).

Dont go it alone. Consult a professional real estate lawyer to handle your mortgage problems.  We are a phone call away.


JACQUELINE A. SALCINES, ESQ.     TELEPHONE:  305  | 669 | 5280