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Diane Gallagher

Many bills passed, introduced to help homeowners

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Posted: Friday, July 27, 2012 12:00 am

Over the past few months, there have been many bills passed and new ones introduced. The newest one is the The Fast Help for Homeowners (FHFH). This bill will require subordinate lien holders to respond to short sale offers within 45 days. The FHFH Act was introduced by Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton).

The California Association of Realtors (CAR) is supporting and urging that the bill move quickly through the legislation. LeFrancis Arnold the President of CAR applauds Congressman Jerry McNerney for introducing this common-sense piece of legislation. This bill will require lien holders to respond in a fair and reasonable amount of time, ensuring distressed properties are brought to market and aiding in the recovery of the general economy. “Short sale transactions are difficult as is,” added Arnold. “When subordinate lien holders refuse to respond to offers, additional unnecessary barriers to homeownership are created. The FHFH Act will eliminate this major hurdle.” If you are looking for someone to help answer some of your questions, contact a local Realtor®.

Early findings from a recent lender satisfaction survey conducted by CAR found that nearly half of all properties sold as short sales in California had subordinate liens. Additionally, communicating with the holders of the subordinate liens often created obstacles to closing these transactions.

For all of you homeowners that are in the middle of a short sale and have a second or third lien holder, you could be going through this very thing. This can be very frustrating for the homeowner and the Realtors assisting in the short sale. If you are the buyer purchasing and are waiting for your transaction to be accepted by the bank, this very well could be the problem, a wait and see, what the bank says.

Also, according to the California Association of Realtors, the housing market continues to show signs of improvement in June, as home sales reached their highest level since August of 2010. Homes are moving faster on the market with the median number of days it takes to sell a single-family home dropping to 43.4 days in June, down from a revised 45.7 days in May and 50.4 days in June 2011.

Want to know what the average interest rate is? Interest rates continue their downward trend; the average 30-year fixed-mortgage interest rate is 3.68 percent, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates averaged 2.76 percent in June. With interest rates so low, now would be a good time to buy.

Don’t forget to go and enjoy the Farmers Market Downtown on Thursday evenings! Have a Great Week!

Diane Gallagher is the president of the Lodi Association of Realtors and can be reached at