Is The Chase $20,000 “Foreclosure Outreach Program” For Real? The Jury Is Still Out!
On February 15th I wrote a post titled “Is Chase Really Giving Phoenix Short Sale Homeowners $20,000?”. In the post, I promised to come back and write about our progress.
In December/2010, Chase started mailing letters out to thousands of homeowners across the nation, offering them anywhere from $10,000-$35,000 to short sell their home, rather than hand it back through foreclosure. I received a call from a Phoenix short sale homeowner who had received the letter, offering him $20,000 to short sell his home. A copy of the $20,000 offer letter was included in my recent blog post. When I called the phone number on the letter, I was told the following:
1. Yes, the program is for real
2. The ONLY paperwork requirements were the listing agreement, 3rd party authorization, and, when received, the purchase contract.
3. NO FINANCIAL INFORMATION would be required from the seller
4. Once the contract was received, they would have an answer for us within 10 DAYS
To make a long story short, we received an offer on the home after having it listed on the market for approximately 40 days. We started the asking price at $114,900, dropped it to $109,900, and received an offer for $105,000. We sent in the offer, along with comps and history on March 11th.
Since that time, we are now on our THIRD negotiator. I received a phone call approximately 2 weeks after submitting the purchase contract, and the negotiator told me that based on the INTERIOR BPO, the least they could take for the property was $135,000. Hmmmm, I thought… There hasn’t been a BPO. I took the key out of the lockbox the day I sent in the contract. The negotiator was adamant, saying “I’m sitting here looking at the BPO, and looking at pictures of the interior”. Despite my explanation that it was virtually impossible to get into the home without the key, he insisted that the BPO came in at $135,000.
So, I sent him the recent comps. The same home two doors down just closed for our price of $105,000 just two weeks prior. At the end of the discussion, he agreed to send it to his “manager” for approval, and we would receive a response within 72 hours. That was about 4 weeks ago.
Yesterday, my friendly negotiator called, stating that they needed the entire “Chase Short Sale Information Packet”, which can be found at Chase.com. I reminded him that we were specifically told that no financial information was required, according to the two previous negotiators we had dealt with.
I could go on and on about our experience, but just wanted to get this information out there. The internet is abuzz lately, with blogs being written daily about it. So far, I have seen very limited success stories of homeowners actually getting the amount that was offered in the letter.
Personally, I’m starting to think that this is a program meant only to get homeowners to the negotiating table. It’s very easy to lie about the BPO value in an effort to save themselves $20k (they valued our home $30k over it’s actual value).
One other caveat to the program. If you don’t specifically ask to be kept out of the HAFA program, you are automatically sent the HAFA route. I was only able to get us out of HAFA by sending in a signed letter from the seller, stating he did not want to participate in the program. In our case, it was a no-brainer. Not only is HAFA a joke, but this is a second home for my seller, who lives in Colorado. That definitely “ruffled some feathers” with our first negotiator.
So, when you get that call from a client that received one of these letters, remember this blog. Remind them that the banks are not their friends, and they don’t do things to be “nice guys”. If they are willing to offer $10k, $20k, or $35k, just remember that there is a reason for it. Prepare your clients, and remind them that they will probably need to come up with financials, as in any other short sale. Also, remember that the “10 day response time” has turned into almost 40 days for us thus far.
Has anyone else had any success with this Chase $20,000 Foreclosure Outreach program yet? If so, please share with the rest of the class.
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