Bank of America Short Sale Update

Bank of America Help for Homeowners in Sacramento and Elk Groveac
Bank of America Help for Homeowners in Sacramento and Elk Groveac
Bank of America is making a series of changes affecting the way we service mortgage loans to align with the new mortgage servicing standards announced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The servicing standards, which become effective January 2014, are an extension of our work to make customer interactions easier. Homeowners will be able to explore all loss mitigation options (including modification, short sale or deed in lieu) for which they may be eligible.

How will the changes benefit B of A customers and business partners?
Earlier single point of contact assignment: Homeowners who need assistance are encouraged to contact B of A early. Newly delinquent customers will continue to be proactively assigned a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM). The customer’s CRM will provide immediate support during the document collection process and will begin conversations about possible resolutions to their circumstances. Contact your Customer Relationship Manager directly or by calling 1.800.669.6650.

Streamlined financial document collection process: Customers who request assistance will now submit a single package that includes all documents required for all loss mitigation options (including modification, short sale and deed in lieu) for which they may be qualify. A letter will be mailed to customers to provide details on the required documents. Once received, the complete package serves as the basis for conducting an evaluation of all options that may be available. This will minimize the need to request additional documents.

Comprehensive evaluation process: As part of the new process, a short sale record will be automatically opened if the home retention evaluation indicates the customer does not meet eligibility requirements to retain the property. If you are interested in proceeding with the short sale evaluation, advise the short sale specialist to add the real estate professional of your choice to the file. To save time and avoid delays with the short sale evaluation, make sure that you have explored and been evaluated for all available home retention options prior to beginning the short sale process.

Improved communication: Significant improvements have been made to customer communications making it easier to understand what steps need to be taken, what is involved in the evaluation and how an appropriate solution is identified for you. Upon completion of the evaluation, B of A will provide homeowners with one notification that will list all options and programs for which you were evaluated along with the approval or denial decision.

The purpose of these enhanced standards is to provide customers more transparency in the evaluation process and help them pursue all options that may be available if they are having difficulty making their payments.

IRS and CA Franchise Tax Board clarify mortgage debt

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LOS ANGELES (Dec. 4) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) announced today it received a letter from the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), obtained by Board of Equalization (BOE) member George Runner, clarifying that California families who have lost their home in a short sale are not subject to state income tax liability on debt forgiveness “phantom income” they never received in a short sale.

Last month, in a letter to California Sen. Barbara Boxer, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognized that the debt written off in a short sale does not constitute recourse debt under California law, and thus does not create so-called “cancellation of debt” income to the underwater home seller for federal income tax purposes.  Following the IRS’s clarification, C.A.R. sought a similar ruling by the California FTB.  Now with the FTB’s clarification, underwater home sellers also are assured that they are not subject to state income tax liability, rescuing tens of thousands of distressed home sellers from California tax liability for debt written off by lenders in short sales.

“We are pleased with the recent clarifications issued by the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board, which protect distressed homeowners from debt relief income tax associated with a short sale in California,” said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown.  “We would like to thank Sen. Boxer and BOE member Runner for their leadership in obtaining this guidance from the IRS and FTB.  Distressed California homeowners can now avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy and can opt for a short sale instead, without incurring federal and state tax liability, even after the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 expires at the end of this year.”

Short Sale Debt Forgiveness is Back!

Debt Forgiveness Elk Grove Short Sales, Sacramento Short Sales
Debt Forgiveness Elk Grove Short Sales, Sacramento Short Sales

The California Association of REALTORS® announced yesterday it received a letter from the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), obtained by Board of Equalization (BOE) member George Runner, clarifying that California families who lost their home in a short sale are not subject to state income tax liability on debt forgiveness “phantom income” they never received in a short sale.

Last month, in a letter to California Senator Barbara Boxer, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognized that the debt written off in a short sale does not constitute recourse debt under California law, and thus does not create so called “cancellation of debt” income to the underwater home seller for federal income tax purposes. Following the IRS’s clarification, C.A.R. sought a similar ruling by the California FTB. Now with the FTB’s clarification, underwater home sellers are also assured that they are not subject to state income tax liability, rescuing tens of thousands distressed home sellers from California tax liability for debt written off by lenders in short sales.

“We are pleased with the recent clarifications issued by the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board, which protect distressed homeowners from debt relief income tax associated with a short sale in California,” said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. “We would like to thank Senator Boxer and BOE member Runner for their leadership in obtaining this guidance from the IRS and FTB. Distressed California homeowners can now avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy and can opt for a short sale instead, without incurring federal and state tax liability, even after the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 expires at the end of the year.”

This is wonderful news for California families still struggling with an underwater home. We still recommend all REALTORS® encourage their clients to speak with a tax professional who can advise them on their specific situation. This information in no way should be taken as either legal or tax advice.

(Sacramento Association of REALTORS® Web Log, Caylyn Brown Thursday, December 5th, 2013)

City and CSD to Open Warming Center in Elk Grove

(City of Elk Grove Press Release, December 4, 2013)

City of Elk Grove
City of Elk Grove

Elk Grove — In response to the forecasted night temperatures in the upper 20s and low 30s, the  City of 
Elk Grove and Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) have opened a warming center in Elk Grove 
as a proactive safety precaution for residents who may be unsheltered or living in homes without heat.   

The warming center, located at the Barbara Morse Wackford Community & Aquatic Complex at 9014 
Bruceville Road, will be open from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday nights.  The warming 
center may remain longer, depending on weather conditions.  The situation will be monitored daily and 
the public will be updated in conjunction with the City and County of Sacramento and County Office of 
Emergency Services.   

The warming centers will offer seating and a heated room that will provide shelter from the cold 
temperatures.  The warming center will be operated by CSD staff.  The Barbara Morse Wackford 
Community & Aquatic Complex facility can accommodate pets.   

Besides a warming center, other options to stay warm include stores, community centers, public 
libraries, coffee shops and family and friends’ homes.   
Sacramento County recommends the following advice to stay warm during freezing temperatures:   

Loved Ones: 

  • Check on your family, neighbors and seniors, especially those living alone 
  • Make sure your pets are secure and safe out of the elements  
  • Discuss emergency plans in advance  

Keep an emergency kit in an easy‐access location 

Around the House and in Your Car: 

  • Clear debris from gutters and downspouts  
  • Store outdoor furniture, lawn equipment, decorations properly  
  • Secure outdoor plants or cover with blankets or plastic to prevent freezing  
  • Learn where your water shutoff valves are in case a pipe bursts  
  • Do not bring heating devices in doors that are intended for outdoor use, such as barbecues or other fuel‐burning devices  
  • Insulate pipes and allow faucetsto drip during cold weatherto avoid freezing  
  • Prepare your auto for cold weather      
  • Keep extra blankets, food and water in your vehicle 
  • Drive safely and slowly 
  • Avoid downed power lines  

Additional cold weather preparedness tips can be found on www.SacramentoReady.org.  For more 
information about emergency preparedness, visit www.elkgrovecity.org/ep or contact City of Elk Grove 
Emergency Manager Don Stangle at 478‐3610 or dstangle@elkgrovecity.org.  

Is Now A Good Time To Put Your House on the Market?

Selling Homes In Elk Grove and Sacramento
Selling Homes In Elk Grove and Sacramento

Potential sellers may be hesitant to put their home on the market in the winter because of the misconception that it’s not an optimal time for selling. However, regardless of the time of year there are always buyers in the market for a new home. An advantage of selling in the winter is that you can stage your home to take advantage of the indoor warmth of the season.

Below are several ideas to help you stage your home for a winter sale, such as placing a warm throw over the corner of the sofa to encourage a cozy feel and turning up the thermostat.

STAGING
– Maintain your walkways
– Make it cozy
– Clean the clutter
– Turn the focus to the fireplace
– Turn on the lights
– Turn up the heat

BENEFITS OF SELLING A HOME IN THE WINTER
-. Less competition
– Buyers are motivated to close
– Your home may show better
– You can take advantage of the holiday season

If you’re interested in selling your home, please contact me to learn more about its value and our local market. Be sure to share this information with family or friends who may be thinking about putting their homes on the market.

From my family to yours: Have a happy and safe holiday season with your loved ones.