The current freeze is for those banks that are suspected of rushing foreclosures through the process. There is a 90 day redemption period before the listing is activated so that the owner has every opportunity to get current and keep the house. Often the seller abandons the home prior to the expiration of redemption and the house sits there until a judge OK's the sale of the property.
As I mentioned, Fannie Mae only a deed in lieu and title work can be tricky. The good news is if it does close you get a clear title. If this condo is really nice, and many of them are, stick with the unit. You are in first position and unless you find something better it might be worth the pain. It is unlikely that the owner will come with the resources to reclaim that place and avoid foreclosure. Also, have an agent print out the full agent MLS sheet, I bet there is some info in the agent remarks section that might be helpful. I suggest conference calling the listing agent with your agent so you get the info first hand.
If you want more info, I have a blog comparing short sales to bank owned REO's. Click on my name and view my blog. If you like it please comment and if you found my answer helpful please check the "best answer" button on this page.
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While you're waiting for things to clear up start looking for choice #2...you may find something you like better at a comparative price. For condos in Jax prices will remain stable or fall a bit over the next 9 months, and since buyer activity will decrease month-by-month through December as people get ready for the holidays, you won't have much competition and you won't lose on price.
Whatever you do, don't go with that loser below who is obviously trying to poach your business...picking someone out of the phone book would be better.
Unfortunately, you've been receiving a lot of bad advice, and you've been basing your decisions (such as moving out of your rental and into a weekly hotel) on it.
My gut reaction--and I know nothing about Jacksonville although the advice from those in Jacksonville supports my initial instinct--is to cut your losses and move on. If it's a short sale, it could drag on and on. And if it's truly a foreclosure, even though the freeze is on new foreclosures, I expect everything to grind to a halt.
Because a lot of title insurance companies out there have already insured a lot of bad titles. Some are now refusing to insure any titles that might be bad. So even if the house has already gone through foreclosure and is back on the market, it's likely to become near-impossible to get title insurance (and thus financing) on the property.
Again: Cut your losses and move on. And find a competent Realtor in your area.
We are actually seeing better deals with new construction. We wish you the best and hopefully it will not take too long for them to figure this out and you get to close soon.
To answer your question John, we are still in a hotel waiting. Our loan is through Chase, and to the best of my knowledge, they have not lifted the freeze. I was in touch with my Realtor and the listing agent a couple of weeks ago, and there is nothing new. The natives are getting restless, but we're hanging in there.
I haven't really seen any news on this foreclosure freeze. The last news I saw was on PBS Newshour, and they stated that the courts were still trying to work everything out, and that the White House was encouraging the banks to lift the freeze and continue with foreclosure sales.
To address some questions and statements in various answers I received, here is some info...
This property is not a short sale. We did ask the listing agent if a month to month lease would be possible, but they were not willing to do that.
For now, we plan to wait through the end of the year. If we aren't seeing anything promising, we will more than likely move on.
Thanks for all the answers and insight.
In any case, if you got a good price and the condo meets your needs, it may be a good idea to stay with it for a while longer to see if the issues can be resolved.
Best Of Luck,
Harold Avent, CRS, CDPE, e-PRO
There is some great information in the answers below, but I would weigh in with this point that John Walin also mentioned.
The moratorium on foreclosures is only certain banks, not Fannie Mae. Bank of America, GMAC and Chase have halted foreclosures in at least 23 states, including Florida. These are the 'judicial' states. Bank of America has extended its moratorium to all 50 states, but the other two have not.
Find out the bank for your Fannie Mae foreclosure and you will have your answer as to whether your wait will be weeks or months.
Even if it is one of the banks that have halted their foreclosure sales, if the condo is a great deal and you love it and you can endure the weekly hotel, eventually this will work its way through.
Bottom line is that the former owners likely didn't pay their mortgage and the bank had the right to foreclose, even the ones who were sloppy with the paperwork. It is a technicality that will be cleared up.
What is your legal time frame for waiting? Your contract should have a closing date. If you are really frustrated and want to start looking again with your agent, then find out when the closing date is. If you go beyond that, you are out of contract and can have your binder returned. Then you are free to write a contract on another place.
Hope this answer was helpful to you. We hope everything works out so you can buy your condo.
Sharon Alters, CDPE, GRI
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty
Fannie Mae takes a deed in lieu of foreclosure and gives the listing agent 90 days to sell the house or the commission on the listing side is reduced from 3$ to 1% if it goes to auction at the 90 day mark.
The best thing you can do is look for another property. It's certainly not a pleasant choice to start over, especially when you are in a weekly hotel. Due to that fact you need to make a quick decision. The right Realtor can work to find homes at excellent prices that meet your requirements and that could close quickly, especially since you have been approved for a loan.
I have over 20 years experience in the Jacksonville market and my real estate partner, my wife, has 20 years experience as manager of a real estate closing department for a major law firm. Between us we can get you to the right property and get you closed with NO RISK.
Give me a call if we can assist you thru this difficult issue.
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty
All the best
Charlie Chorman - REALTOR
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty
Verify exactly if this is a short sale or Fannie Mae owned. Your agent should know the difference. If not, well, that is a serious problem.
It may be longer than 90 days... Certain "servicers" for Fannie Mae, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, GMAC (now called Ally) and a few others are suspected of "robo" signing on foreclosure documents. Because of this it is difficult if not impossible to obtain a title insurance policy. The Title Insurance companies are not insuring the title on those properties foreclosed on by these "servicers".
You may be looking at 6 months before the "servicer" for Fannie Mae tries to locate the original mortgage documents so they can provide a true attestation that they have reviewed the documents.
Find a month-to-month rental and keep looking or another property in the meantime while you're waiting for this to close.