Original posted on Calculated Risk:
This is a follow up on the previous post on short sales and 2nd liens. (the previous post had excerpts from the NY Times, Short-Sale Program to Pay Homeowners to Sell at a Loss and WSJ Home-Saving Loans Afoot)
Just to be clear on what subordinate lien holders will receive under a HAFA short sales - from Treasury's HAFA program Short Sale Agreement:
Subordinate Liens. We will allow up to three percent (3%) of the unpaid principal balance of each subordinate lien in order of priority, not to exceed a total of $3,000, to be deducted from the gross sale proceeds to pay subordinate lien holders to release their liens. We require each subordinate lien holder to release you from personal liability for the loans in order for the sale to qualify for this program, but we do not take any responsibility for ensuring that the lien holders do not seek to enforce personal liability against you. Therefore, we recommend that you take steps to satisfy yourself that the subordinate lien holders release you from personal liability.So on a $50,000 2nd lien, the holder of the lien will be offered up to $1,500 to sign off on the deal and release the borrower from personal liability. The HAFA program will reimburse the 1st lien holder one third of that amount, or up to $500.
Investor Reimbursement for Subordinate Lien Releases. The investor will be paid a maximum of $1,000 for allowing a total of up to $3,000 in short-sale proceeds to be distributed to subordinate lien holders, or for allowing payment of up to $3,000 to subordinate lien holders. This reimbursement will be earned on a one-for-three matching basis. For each three dollars an investor pays to secure release of a subordinate lien, the investor will be entitled to one dollar of reimbursement. To receive an incentive, subordinate lien holders must release their liens and waive all future claims against the borrower....I expect that most 1st lien holders will be willing to pay this amount to the 2nd lien holder. But would a $50,000 2nd lien holder be willing to sign off for only $1,500?
It really depends on the financial situation of the borrower, and probably on the likelihood of personal bankruptcy. In most cases the 2nd lien holder can probably do much better by selling the lien to a collection agency.
Although I think the HAFA program will help with short sales (and deed-in-lieu transactions), this will not solve the 2nd lien problem. Foreclosure may still be the servicers' option of choice for borrowers with subordinate liens.