Lenders to the rescue: Incentives driving short sales

Finding a win-win alternative to foreclosure

When is the last time a banker called up a real estate agent, gave that agent a short-sale listing lead, then gave the seller thousands of dollars as an incentive at closing, plus thousands more from the Homeowner Affordable Foreclosure Assistance (HAFA) program, as a way of thanking the owner for not slipping into foreclosure?

Realtor Mark Cooper, CEO of Re/Max Edge in the St. Louis, Mo., area, reported a short sale in which the "homeowner walked away at the closing with $28,000, with no recourse for selling his home with a $280,000 mortgage for $174,000."