Great news for real estate investors who focus on short sales – they are on the rise again. Banks are turning to short sales more and more so they can get around the long process of seizing, maintaining and then trying to sell homes through foreclosure. The pace of new foreclosures has slowed slightly, but foreclosure starts are up by about 1%. The increase in short sales is the result of the five biggest lenders – BOA, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and Ally Financial focus on foreclosure alternatives as a result of a $25 billion settlement reached last April. In the first four months, 10.6 billion in mortgage relief came in the form of short sales. The attorneys general that negotiated the deal hoped lenders would be prompted to write down principal balances for underwater mortgages, but so far, the progress on that has been slow, with only $1.3 billion in writedowns. BOA, which is responsible for the largest portion of the relief, has not completed any modifications or refinancings thus far.
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