Thomas - The HAFA program is designed more to help home sellers not home buyers. Although there are timelines to be met in the program guidelines, and lenders voluntarily joined this program, there is really no penalty if they don't adhere to the timelines. The guidelines state that the seller will have an answer to their request for a home loan modification or short sale approval within 30 days. However, when a fellow agent called BofA to talk about the guidelines, they said they received a few hours of training on a Saturday (their day off) and thought they had 120 days to respond. So there you go.
I can tell you I'm getting much faster responses on my short sales, even BofA, but you're at the mercy of when a negotiator gets assigned. Equator, the program BofA is using to manage this process seems to be helping.
Patience is part of short sales, but if you love the property, its usually worth the wait.
By the way, both my sons live in Alpharetta.
Heather Peck, SFR