Paul's Bellingham Blog

My thoughts on Bellingham, the Real Estate market, and more

The New Shortsale Option: HAFA

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The expansion of the government’s Home Affordable program now includes a program that should help many sellers in distress and need to sell. If you’re behind in you’re mortgage payments, and/or owe more than you’re property is worth–the new HAFA program gives you an excellent alternative option to the typical shortsale process.


To qualify under Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA), you must meet the eligibility criteria for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

Typically on a shortsale, you have your home listed, and then once you get an offer, you start on a long process to negotiate with your lender. This process has many unknowns and usually is a process that takes 3-6 months.

With the HAFA program, you’re REALTOR can help you turn everything in to your lender before you list. Then the lender will agree to a list price before it goes on the market. You then have 120 days to get an offer on you’re home once you list. Then when you receive the offer, the lender will respond with in 10 days, and then it’s done and approved! In addition, there is the $3,000 in moving help that is available as well.
Why should I consider a HAFA short sale?

  • Help you avoid foreclosure
  • Allow you to be “fully released” from any further liability on your mortgage
  • Provide financial assistance of $3,000 to help with relocation expenses
  • Once you recieve an offer, much shorter waiting period to get response and approval from you’re lender
  • Easier to plan for move and find a buyer for your home (since the approval happens before you list)

How Do I Qualify?

The eligibility criteria is based on the terms set forth under the government initiative. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria under HAFA, you may still be able to work with your lender on a short sale. 

If you are in the Bellingham, Whatcom County, or North Skagit County area, and you are interested in discussing any of this, I can help you assess your situation to see if a shortsale or HAFA program is right for you. Whether this program is right for you or not, it is important to work with a REALTOR who understands the shortsale process and is knowledgeable about this new program. If you are in a different area, I can help you locate a specialist. Contact me here.