Have Questions? Talk to an Expert First

Helpful Tips to Prevent Short Sales for Home Buyers and Sellers

How To Avoid a Short Sale  or a Foreclosure in Silicon Valley

 

 Short Sales Help in Silicon Valley © totalmortgage

If you are reading this page, you are most likely struggling with your mortgage payment. You may have already received a Notice of Default (aka NOD) or you are at the stage of the foreclosure process where the
short sale of your home is inevitable.

I will get right to the point: Your situation is concerning but unlike what many Silicon Valley Realtors will tell you, there are alternatives to short sales and foreclosure as well as public and private organizations in the Bay Area and in California that can help you at no cost to you or your family.

You should also know that over the last decade, lenders in Silicon Valley and in California are more inclined to avoid costs related to the foreclosure of your home. 


As an experienced short sales and foreclosure specialist in Silicon Valley, I thought you might be interested in the following tips and alternatives available to prevent the short sales or the foreclosure of your home.

Tip #1: Determine Your True Financial Situation

You need to determine as accurately as possible your true financial situation. Understand that you will have to explain to your lenders and document the reason(s) why you are no longer able to pay your mortgage.

Most lenders and Realtors in Silicon Valley refer to this document as the Hardship (please refer to this blog for the most common short sales terms).


Tip #2: Apply for a Loan Modification

The request to file for a loan modification with the Making Home Affordable Program can be found here.

For the record, the Making Home Affordable Program is a refinancing program that helps home owners lower their monthly mortgage payments and obtain loan modifications.

The most notorious loan modification program is the Home Affordable Modification Program (aka HAMP), a federal program of the United States, set up to help eligible home owners with loan modifications on their home mortgage debt.

Tip #3: Understand Alternatives to Foreclosure

Ask your Silicon Valley Short Sales Agent for available alternatives to foreclosure that suit your needs.

Here are some alternatives to foreclosure listed for informative purposes only:

  • Bankruptcy, which may help distressed home owners stall the foreclosure process
  • Deed Transfer (aka Deed in Lieu de Lien) back to the lender who will repossess the property
  • Forbearance or Reinstatement of Mortgage, which will allow you to pay the missed amounts together with late and legal fees, either through a one-time payment or spread installments
  • Short Sale of your home, with the agreement of your lender, in order to recover and pay back as much debt owed as possible. You can find here useful information about Short Sales from the California Association of Realtors.
  • Short Sale Lease Back (SSLB), a government-sponsored program (known as Home Strong USA) which allows qualified homeowners to short sell their home and remain as tenants. If your lender(s) agrees, Home Strong USA will buy your home and become your landlord. You will be allowed to stay for up to three years with an optional 2 year extension. You can find here useful information about eligibility requirements for the SSLB program.


Tip #4: Get Legal Advice

Alternatives to short sales and foreclosure have both legal and tax consequences that you should be aware of before making up your mind. For instance, the foreclosure of your home will damage your credit record for a longer period of time than the short sale of your home.

Take the advice of a lawyer as well as a CPA to understand all implications of all alternatives to foreclosure and short sales.



Tip #5: Work with a Short Sale Specialist

The key to your short sale success is to find a Silicon Valley real estate agent with outstanding negotiations skills and perfect knowledge of the short sale and foreclosure process.


Make sure to ask your Realtor if he or she has already worked with your lenders (first and second lender if applicable) as he or she may already have the right connections which will speed up and facilitate the short sale approval if this option is ultimately retained.


Tip #6: Speak the Short Sales Language

I just wrote a blog which includes the top 10 short sales keywords used by real estate agents, lenders, CPAs and lawyers use when dealing with foreclosure and short sales candidates.

Understanding what short sales and foreclosure professionals talk about will help you better understand and assess your situation.


Tip #7: Follow Short Sales Legislation

You should be aware that new short sales guidelines have been issued by the Federal Housing Administration since 2012.


Key Short Sales Legislation in 2012

Since October 2, 2012, the FHFA guidelines are mandatory. These guidelines specify that short sales, deeds-in-lieu and deeds-for-lease applications will have to be handled by the lenders and/or their servicers who will be subject to the following deadlines:

  • Review and respond to requests for short sales within 30 calendar days from receipt of a short sale offer and a complete borrower response package
  • Provide weekly status updates to the borrower if the short sale offer is still under review after 30 calendar days
  • Make and communicate final decisions to the borrower within 60 calendar days of receipt of the offer and complete borrower response package

Since November 1, 2012, the new guidelines for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac short sales specify the following:

  • Eliminate current Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac short sale programs and creates a single standard short sale process for both entities
  • Enable servicers to swiftly and easily qualify certain borrowers who are current on their mortgages for short sales without waiting for approval from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
  • Offer preferred treatment for Military personnel with Permanent Change of Station (aka PCS) orders
  • Standardize and clarify foreclosure suspensions on a property with an approved short sale
  • Potentially pay borrowers up to $3,000 in relocation assistance
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer up to $6,000 to subordinate lien holders to expedite a short sale.

Additionally, FHFA clarified that borrower(s) who experienced a hardship will have to wait at least 2 years before becoming eligible again for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac backed loan.

Since November 1, 2012, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac servicers will be allowed to approve directly short sales and deeds in lieu on behalf of the nine following mortgage insurers without a separate review: CMG Mortgage Insurance Co., Essent Guaranty Inc., Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp., PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., Radian Guaranty Inc., Republic Mortgage Insurance Co., Triad Guaranty Insurance Corp., and United Guaranty Corp.


Key Short Sales Legislation in 2013

Since January 18, 2013, the following guidelines regarding relocation assistance apply all to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac short sales.

The borrower may be entitled to an incentive payment of $3,000 (c.f. Key Short Sales Legislation in 2015 below for the updated payment amount) from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to assist with relocation expenses following successful completion of a short sale unless:
 
  • the borrower is required to contribute funds or execute a promissory note
  • when the borrower as a military personal has Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders and receives a Dislocation Allowance (DLA) or other government relocation assistance
  • the servicer has knowledge that the borrower is receiving relocation assistance from another source other than the servicer.

If the borrower receives relocation assistance from a source other than Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or the servicer, the difference in the relocation assistance amount up to the $3,000 incentive maximum may be provided. If the borrower will receive relocation assistance from another source or the Servicer and the amount is equal to or greater than $3,000, no relocation incentive will be provided.

Starting March 1, 2013, Fannie Mae will apply new requirements for the Fannie Mae Mortgage Release (AKA as deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Borrowers completing a Mortgage Release with Fannie Mae will now have three exit options: immediate move, three-month transition with no rent payment required, and twelve-month lease with market rent payment.

Starting April 19, 2013, new operating standards apply for the handling and prioritization of borrower files that are subject to imminent scheduled foreclosure sales, i.e. within 60 days. You can read all about this new standard on the Federal Reserve website.

Effective May 13, 2013, servicers must evaluate any borrower who is at least 90 days delinquent but not more than 720 days delinquent and whose loan is at least one year old, for Freddie Mac's new Streamlined Modification Program.

Servicers may immediately offer eligible borrowers the new Freddie Mac Streamlined Modification. The new program will waive any document requirements for borrowers to receive the modification. The borrowers' modification becomes permanent after he or she makes three on-time payments during a three-month trial period.

Starting May 7, 2013, a new legislation (H.R.1842) extends foreclosure protections to enlisted persons who bought homes after going on active duty,  in other words even if they purchased residences after activation. In addition, the new law freezes foreclosure actions for as long as one year for service members who are medically discharged or those placed on convalescent status.

This a provision that also applies to surviving spouses of military personnel who lose their lives in the line of duty. For more information please refer to this link.

You can always read about the latest short sales guidelines on the websites of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.



Key Short Sales Legislation in 2014


Effective  November 25,  2014, the Federal Housing Administration (FHFA) announced that qualified buyers would be allowed to purchase Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac REO properties at current market value.


Previously, homeowners who went through foreclosure and wanted to buy their homes back had to pay the entire amount owed on the mortgage.  The change also allows a third party to purchase the property on behalf of the previous owner. 



Key Short Sales Legislation in 2015


In March 2015, new guidelines for the Home Affordable Modification Program (aka H.A.M.P) increased the homeowners incentives with a new $5,000 principal reduction if they are current on their mortgage six years after their mortgage modification. In addition to the principal balance reduction, HAMP is also reducing interest rates for alternative HAMP modification (Tier 2) borrowers by 50 basis points after the sixth year of the modification.


In March 2015, HUD announced the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program will increase the amount of relocation assistance it offers under its foreclosure alternatives from $3,000 to $10,000.


Bear in mind that State Legislation (in particular the California Homeowner Bill of Rights) will always impact the foreclosure & short sale process in California. More information about the California Homeowner Bill of Rights can be found on this page.


Key Short Sales Legislation in 2016

In December, President Obama signed into law a package of "tax extenders" that included the extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act.

This means that if you meet the IRS requirements, the cancellation of debt will not be included as income to you. The Act excludes from income cancellation of mortgage debt on a principal residence of up to $2  million ($1 million for a married taxpayer filing a separate return) through 2016.

The Act also modifies the exclusion to apply to qualified principal residence indebtedness discharged in 2017 if the discharge is made under a binding written agreement entered into in 2016.

On April 14, 2016, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer principal reductions to certain seriously delinquent, underwater borrowers to help them avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes.

The new Principal Reduction Modification program is a one-time offering for borrowers whose loans are owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and who meet specific eligibility criteria.  The modification will be available to owner-occupant borrowers who are 90 days or more delinquent as of March 1, 2016, whose mortgages have an outstanding unpaid principal balance of $250,000 or less, and whose mark-to-market loan-to-value (MTMLTV) ratios exceed 115 percent.  For other eligibility criteria please refer to this link.


Key Short Sales Legislation in 2017

Effective January 1, 2017, the Loans Homeowner Bill of Right extends provisions of the Homeowner’s bill of rights to a successor in interest after the borrower has died. This law is in effect only until January 1, 2020.

The new law also prohibits a mortgage servicer, upon notification that a borrower has died, from recording a notice of default until the mortgage servicer requests reasonable documentation of the death of the borrower from a claimant, among other things. A claimant is a person claiming to be a successor in interest, who is not a party to the loan or promissory note.

The law provides a reasonable period of time for the claimant to present the requested documentation. A mortgage servicer is required, within 10 days of a claimant being deemed a successor in interest, to provide the successor in interest with information about the loan and to allow a successor in interest to assume the deceased borrower’s loan or to apply for foreclosure prevention alternatives on an assumable loan. Such a successor in interest who assumes an assumable loan and wishes to apply for a foreclosure prevention alternative has the same rights and remedies as a borrower under specified provisions of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights.


Key Short Sales Legislation in 2018

For 2018, Congress and Senate have introduced a bill that amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend through the end of the year the exclusion from gross income of income attributable to the discharge of indebtedness on a principal residence.


Key Short Sales Legislation in 2019

December 2019:The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, extends the exclusion of discharge of mortgage debt. Homeowners who have undergone foreclosure, a short sale, or a loan modification, or otherwise had mortgage debt forgiven, can exclude up to $2 million of the debt from their gross income ($1 million for married individuals filing separately). The debt generally must have resulted from the acquisition, construction or substantial improvement of their principal residence. The law also modifies the exclusion to make it apply to debt discharged under a binding written agreement entered into before January 1, 2021. The IRS also recently extended the exclusion until the end of 2021.


Key Short Sales Legislation in 2020

March 16, 2020: California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-28-20. The order contains two foreclosure-specific provisions. First, Consumer Services and Housing Agency and then engage financial institutions to identify available tools to provide California residents relief from the threat of foreclosure. Second, financial institutions that hold home mortgages are requested to impose an immediate foreclosure moratorium when the foreclosures relate to substantial loss in household or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses caused by the COVID-19 outbreak or any resulting governmental response.

March 18, 2020: The U.S. Department of Housing and the Urban Development Secretary authorized the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) imposed an immediate foreclosure moratorium for the next 60 days for single-family homeowners whose mortgages are FHA insured. The guidance applies to homeowners with FHA-insured Title II Single Family forward and Home Equity Conversion (reverse) mortgages. Mortgage servicers have been directed to cease all new foreclosure actions and suspend those foreclosure actions currently in process. With a near-identical policy, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that it directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures for at least 60 days. The moratorium applies to homeowners with either Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-backed single-family mortgages.

March 27, 2020: Congress passed the  CARES Act  which offers mortgage forbearance to homeowners with mortgages backed or insured by the federal government, including FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac loans. Mortgages not covered by the CARES Act may also provide similar forbearance options.
Under the CARES Act, homeowners can ask for forbearance from their mortgage servicer and suspend payments for up to 12 months.

April 6, 2020, : The rule No. 2 of the Emergency Rules of California Rules of Court suspends judicial foreclosures. Stays all judicial proceedings to foreclose on a mortgage or deed of trust, including an action for a deficiency. The periods for electing or exercising the right to redeem after foreclosure are tolled, as well as any period to petition a court regarding redemption rights. Statutes of limitations on foreclosure actions are tolled. The emergency rule remains in effect until 90 days after the pandemic state of emergency is lifted or the judicial authorities otherwise suspend the rule. The Judicial Council of California voted on August 13, 2020, to end its statewide moratorium on foreclosures and evictions on September 1, 2020. The vote does not impact City and County moratoriums, which remain in effect in numerous jurisdictions.

September 21, 2020: The State legislature approved AB 3088 AKA the COVID-19 Small Landlord and Homeowner Relief Act of 2020. It implements procedural protections to homeowners before a foreclosure sale by requiring mortgage servicers to contact borrowers to discuss foreclosure prevention alternatives and pause foreclosure proceedings if a loan modification is under review. The Homeowner Act provides an extension of the Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR) to small landlords owning a fully tenant-occupied property with one to four units if the following conditions are met:

  • The landlord owns a maximum of 3 residential properties, each of which contains a maximum of 4 dwelling units.

  • The property for which the landlord is seeking protection is occupied by at least 1 tenant who has been unable to pay rent due to COVID-19 financial hardship.

  • The property for which the landlord is seeking protection is occupied by at least 1 tenant who entered into a market-rate lease that was in effect on March 4, 2020.

  • The protections expanded to small landlords will only be in effect until January 1, 2023.

    AB 3088 also requires a mortgage servicer to provide a written explanation outlining the basis for denying any forbearance request by a borrower if the following conditions are met:

  • The borrower was current on payment as of February 1, 2020;

  • Due to COVID-19, the borrower is experiencing a financial hardship that prevents the borrower from making timely payments on the mortgage obligation due.

    If the written notice by the mortgage servicer cites any defect in the borrower’s request, that is curable, the mortgage servicer shall:

  • Specifically identify any curable defect in the written notice;

  • Provide 21 days from the mailing date of the written notice for the borrower to cure any identified defect;

  • Accept receipt of the borrower’s revised request for forbearance before the aforementioned 21-day period lapses; and

  • Respond to the borrower’s revised request within 5 business days of receipt of the revised request.

    September 28, 2020: Gov. Newsom signed into law SB 1079:” Homes for Homeowners, Not Corporations”. SB 1079 is designed to prevent the scenario California experienced during the Great Recession when large corporations bulk-purchased foreclosed homes, causing owner-occupied homeownership to drop to the lowest level in decades. SB 1079 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

     


    Bankruptcy, which may help SB 1079 modifies the foreclosure auction process to reduce the advantage big corporations had that allowed them to bulk-purchase many homes at a single auction. The new law gives owner-occupants, tenants, local governments, and housing nonprofits a level playing field to purchase such homes, helping retain owner-occupied homeownership.

    SB 1079 also authorizes higher fines that a local government can levy on corporations or other property owners that leave homes vacant or blighted, to incentivize refurbishing and renting or selling such homes.

    Under SB 1079, during a foreclosure auction, sellers would be prohibited from bundling homes together and selling them to a single buyer. Foreclosed homes would have to be sold individually to give people who actually want to live in a home a fair chance at buying it. Then, after the initial bids at a foreclosure auction are received, tenants, families, local governments, affordable housing nonprofits, and community land trusts have a 45-day window to exceed the highest auction bid in order to buy the property. These provisions of SB 1079 apply to all residential properties with one to four housing units and will sunset on January 1, 2026.

    October 10,2020: The Department of Housing and Urban Development in October announced that the FHA was extending the date for consumers to ask for mortgage forbearance to December 31, 2020.

    December 2, 2020:The FHFA extended its foreclosure moratorium for borrowers with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – though for just a one-month grace period to Jan. 31. The FHFA has not announced whether it will continue to buy loans in forbearance past the current expiration date of Dec. 31, 2020

    December 21, 2020: the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that the Federal Housing Administration is providing a two-month extension of its foreclosure and eviction moratorium, and initial forbearance requests through Feb. 28, 2021. The FHA is also extending through February 28, 2021, the deadline for single family borrowers with FHA-insured mortgages to request an initial COVID-19 forbearance from their mortgage servicer to defer or reduce their mortgage payments for up to six months, which can be extended for an additional six months.
           


    Key Short Sales Legislation in 2021

    I/ The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Introduced in March 2020, there are two protections for homeowners with federally or GSE-backed (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) or funded mortgages:

    1. The CARES Act and the guidance from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, and USDA, prohibit lenders and servicers from beginning a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure against you, or from finalizing a foreclosure judgment or sale. This protection began on March 18, 2020;
    2. Under the CARES Act, you can ask for forbearance and tell your servicer that you are going through financial hardship because of the pandemic. If you have a federally backed loan, the mortgage servicer is not permitted to ask you for proof of hardship. 

    On February 16, 2021, the Biden Administration has extended the foreclosure and eviction moratorium for homeowners who have a home loan through the Federal Housing Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs until the end of June 2021. On July 30, 2021 the federal Administration extended the nationwide eviction moratorium through September 30, 2021 to protect homeowners with federally backed mortgages against foreclosure. As a result,  homeowners impacted by the pandemic with mortgages backed by HUD, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, as well as housing providers with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac multifamily mortgages, may apply for forbearance until October 30, 2021.

    FHFA also announced on July 30, 2021 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were extending the moratoriums on single-family real estate owned (REO) evictions until September 30, 2021.

    Mortgages not covered by the CARES Act may also provide similar forbearance options. If you are struggling with payments, servicers are generally required to discuss relief options with you, whether or not your loan is covered under the CARES Act. Find a housing counselor near you. 

  • II/ The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 2021 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Rule

    On June 28, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) issued a final rule AKA 2021 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Rule or 2021 Rule, amending certain provisions in Regulation X regarding additional assistance for borrowers experiencing a COVID-19-related hardship. The 2021 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Rule is effective August 31, 2021.

    The purpose of the 2021 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Rule is to prevent “unwelcome surprises” for borrowers exiting forbearance. Below is a recap of this new rule.

    Background information

    The 2021 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Rule provisions provide for early intervention with delinquent borrowers and impose certain loss mitigation requirements, including setting procedures for reviewing loss mitigation applications and providing borrower protections during those reviews.

    The 2021 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Rule amended the Mortgage Servicing Rules to assist borrowers affected by the COVID-19 emergency. The 2021 Rule includes temporary provisions that:

    1. Require special COVID-19 loss mitigation procedural safeguards to ensure that a borrower has a meaningful opportunity to apply for loss mitigation before the mortgage account is referred to foreclosure after national foreclosure moratoria have ended;

    2.  Provide servicers the ability to offer borrowers certain COVID-19-related streamlined loan modifications without a complete loss mitigation application;

    3.  Require the provision of additional information promptly after early intervention live contacts are established with certain delinquent borrowers;

    4.  Establish timing requirements for when servicers must renew reasonable diligence efforts to obtain complete loss mitigation applications from certain borrowers.

    Coverage

    The 2021 Rule only applies to a mortgage loan secured by the borrower’s principal residence, and as such, generally does not apply to investment properties or second homes. The 2021 Rule does not apply to reverse mortgages. Similarly, small servicers, as defined in the Rules, are generally not subject to the new requirements.

    Loss Mitigation: Temporary special COVID-19 procedural safeguards before and after and after the adoption of the 2021 Rule

    Loss Mitigation before the 2021 Rule

    Currently, the Mortgage Servicing Rules prohibit servicers from making a foreclosure referral (i.e., making the first notice or filing) or completing certain foreclosure actions (i.e., moving for foreclosure judgment or order of sale, making a dispositive motion for foreclosure judgment, conducting a foreclosure sale) in certain circumstances. Generally, a servicer may not make a foreclosure referral until the borrower is more than 120 days delinquent. In addition, if the borrower submits a complete loss mitigation application before foreclosure referral, generally the servicer must wait an additional period before initiating foreclosure in order to satisfy certain conditions to allow the borrower an opportunity to pursue loss mitigation.

    Specifically, the servicer must determine that the borrower is not eligible for any loss mitigation options and notify the borrower of such, determine that the borrower has exhausted the appeal process, or if a loss mitigation offer is made, the borrower must reject all offered loss mitigation options or fail to perform under a loss mitigation option agreement (the “foreclosure protection conditions”).

    Similarly, if a borrower submits a complete application after foreclosure referral but at least 37 days before foreclosure sale, the servicer must not complete certain foreclosure actions until these foreclosure protection conditions are met.

    Loss Mitigation after the 2021 Rule

    The 2021 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Rule temporarily adds to the above-mentioned foreclosure protection conditions in certain circumstances.

    From August 31, 2021 through December 31, 2021, unless an exception applies, before referring certain 120-day delinquent accounts for foreclosure the servicer must make sure at least one of the three temporary procedural safeguards has been met.

    Procedural Safeguards

    The three procedural safeguards are:

    1. The borrower was evaluated based on a complete loss mitigation application and existing foreclosure protection conditions are met. To meet this safeguard, the servicer must confirm that:

    The borrower submitted a complete loss mitigation application, and the servicer evaluated the application;

    The borrower remained delinquent since submission of the loss mitigation application;

    The foreclosure protection conditions in the existing Mortgage Servicing Rules discussed above, are met, such that a servicer is permitted by the Rules to make a foreclosure referral.

    2. The property is abandoned. To meet this safeguard, applicable state or local law must consider the property securing the mortgage abandoned when referred to foreclosure.

    3. The borrower is unresponsive to servicer outreach. To meet this safeguard, the servicer must not have received any communications from the borrower in the 90 days prior to the foreclosure referral and the servicer must confirm:

    It has complied with the early intervention live contact requirements in the Mortgage Servicing Rules during that 90-day period.

    It has provided the early intervention 45-day written notice required by the Mortgage Servicing Rules. The servicer must have sent the notice at least 10 but no more than 45 days before foreclosure referral.

    It has complied with all loss mitigation notice requirements in the Mortgage Servicing Rules during that 90-day period, such as the notice of an incomplete loss mitigation application.

    The borrower’s forbearance program, if applicable, ended at least 30 days before foreclosure referral.

    The temporary procedural safeguards are not required if:

    The foreclosure referral occurs (as permitted by applicable law) on or after January 1, 2022.

    The borrower was more than 120 days delinquent prior to March 1, 2020.

    The applicable statute of limitations will expire before January 1, 2022.

    If the servicer has met the temporary procedural safeguards, or if the safeguards do not apply, the servicer may proceed with foreclosure referral, to the extent permitted by other law and the existing foreclosure protections in the Mortgage Servicing Rules. If the temporary procedural safeguards apply, a servicer is required to maintain records that evidence the servicer complied.

    Loss Mitigation: COVID-19-related streamlined loan modifications

    Currently, the Mortgage Servicing Rules generally prohibit the servicer from evading the requirement to evaluate a complete loss mitigation application for all loss mitigation options available to the borrower by offering a loss mitigation option based on the evaluation of any information provide by a borrower in connection with an incomplete loss mitigation application. However, the Rules do offer certain exceptions to this general prohibition, allowing some loss mitigation offers that are not based on the evaluation of a complete application, such as offers of certain short-term payment forbearance programs and certain COVID-19-related loss mitigation options.
    The 2021 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Rule adds a new exception
    The 2021 Rule permits servicers to offer certain COVID-19-related loan modification options based on the evaluation of an incomplete application. To qualify for this exception, the loan modification program must:

    1. Limit loan term extensions. The loan modification must not extend the loan term more than 40 years from the date the modification is effective;

    2. Limit periodic payment increases. The loan modification must not increase the borrower’s monthly principal and interest payment beyond the amount that was required prior to the modification;

    3. Prohibit interest accrual on delayed amounts. If the loan modification allows the borrower to delay payment of any portion of the amount owed until the property is sold, the mortgage is refinanced, the modification matures, or, for FHA insured loans, until the mortgage insurance terminates, then the loan modification must not allow interest to accrue on those amounts. Such amounts could include, for example, forborne periodic payments;

    4. Be available to borrowers with COVID-19-related hardships. The loan modification must be made available to borrowers experiencing COVID-19-related hardships, although it need not be only available to those borrowers;

    5. End (or be designed to end) preexisting delinquency. The loan modification must end any pre-existing delinquency when the borrower accepts the modification offer. If a trial period applies, the loan modification must be designed to end any pre-existing delinquency when the borrower satisfactorily completes any trial period requirements and accepts the permanent loan modification;

    6. Not include certain fees. The servicer must not charge fees in connection with the loan modification, and must promptly waive certain existing fees the borrower owes, such as late fees, penalties, or stop-payment fees, that were incurred on or after March 1, 2020.

    Offering a loan modification under this exception does not constitute offering a loan modification based on a complete application. If a borrower becomes delinquent after accepting such a loan modification, the servicer must resume reasonable diligence efforts to obtain a complete loss mitigation application.

    Additionally, a subsequent submission of a complete loss mitigation application does not count as a duplicative request under the Mortgage Servicing Rules, and the borrower must still be evaluated and receive all the protections that follow under the Rules for that subsequent application. For example, if a borrower submits a complete loss mitigation application after failing a trial period for an applicable COVID-19-related streamlined loan modification offered under this exception, the borrower is not considered to have submitted a duplicative request and the servicer must review the complete application and the foreclosure protection conditions must be met before the servicer can make a foreclosure referral or complete certain foreclosure actions.

    Loss Mitigation: COVID-19-related reasonable diligence

    Currently, under the Mortgage Servicing Rules, when a servicer receives an incomplete loss mitigation application from the borrower, the servicer is required to exercise reasonable diligence to complete the application. However, a servicer is permitted to suspend reasonable diligence efforts while a borrower is complying with a short-term payment forbearance program offered based on an incomplete application until the borrower is near the end of that forbearance program.

    Now, under the 2021 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Rule, if a borrower is in a short-term payment forbearance program made available to borrowers with a COVID-19-related hardship and that program was offered based on an evaluation of an incomplete application, the Rule specifies more precisely when the servicer must renew reasonable diligence efforts.

    For such borrowers, if the borrower remains delinquent, the servicer is required to contact the borrower no later than 30 days before the scheduled end of the forbearance period to determine if they wish to complete the loss mitigation application. If the borrower chooses to do so, the servicer must reinstate reasonable diligence efforts to complete the loss mitigation application before the end of the forbearance period.

    Early Intervention: Additional temporary COVID-19-related live contact information

    Currently, the Mortgage Servicing Rules require a servicer to make good faith efforts to establish live contact with delinquent borrowers no later than the borrower’s 36th day of delinquency and again no later than 36 days after each payment due date so long as the borrower remains delinquent. Promptly after establishing live contact, the servicer must inform the borrower about the availability of loss mitigation options, although it has discretion to determine if providing this information is appropriate and the level of specificity provided.

    Separately, the Rules also require servicers to maintain policies and procedures that, among other things, ensure the servicer personnel assigned to a delinquent borrower can identify all loss mitigation options available from the owner or assignee of the borrower’s mortgage, and the actions the borrower must take to be evaluated for those options. The policies and procedures must ensure the servicer has the ability to provide that information accurately.

    Now, promptly after establishing live contact under the existing Rules, the 2021 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Rule temporarily requires a servicer to provide some delinquent borrowers with specific, additional information. This requirement only applies until October 1, 2022.

    Borrowers not in forbearance

    For borrowers that are not in a forbearance program at the time live contact is established under the existing Rules, if the owner or assignee of the mortgage provides forbearance programs for borrowers with a COVID-19-related hardship (as defined in the 2021 Rule), then promptly after establishing live contact, the servicer must inform the borrower of the following:

    1. Program availability statement. That forbearance programs are available for borrowers experiencing a COVID-19-related hardship. For example, the servicer could say, “We wanted to let you know that forbearance programs are available for borrowers that are having difficulty making their payments because of the COVID-19 emergency;”

    2. List and description of applicable programs. Unless the borrower states that they are not interested in receiving information about such programs, the servicer must then list and briefly describe to the borrower the applicable programs and the actions the borrower must take to be evaluated. The servicer is only required to list forbearance programs available at the time the live contact is established, and does not need to include any programs that have already expired;

    3. Homeownership counseling services. Additionally, the servicer must tell the borrower at least one way that they can find contact information for homeownership counseling services, such as referencing the borrower’s periodic statement.

    Borrowers in forbearance

    For borrowers in a forbearance program made available to those experiencing a COVID-19-related hardship at the time live contact is established, the servicer must provide additional information during the live contact that occurs 10 t0 45 days before the scheduled end of the borrower’s program. When live contact is established, the servicer must inform the borrower of:

    1. Scheduled end date. When the forbearance program is scheduled to end;

    2. List and description of applicable programs. A list and brief description of any loss mitigation programs, including forbearance extensions and repayment options, that are available through the owner or assignee of the mortgage, and how the borrower can apply for those options. The servicer is only required to list loss mitigation options available at the time the live contact is established, and does not need to include any options that have already expired;

    3. Homeownership counseling services. At least one way that the borrower can find contact information for homeownership counseling services, such as referencing the borrower’s periodic statement.

    Nothing in the 2021 Rule or Mortgage Servicing Rules prevents servicers from sharing additional information with borrowers beyond these requirements when making live contact. For example, servicers may also share information about eligibility criteria or discuss how investor review standards, such as waterfalls, may impact which available options may be offered to the borrower.

    Source:https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_covid-mortgage-servicing-rule_executive-summary_2021-06.pdf

    III/ On July 23, 2021, a White House press release announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will now give homeowners options to reduce their monthly principal and interest by lengthening the term of the mortgage. The purpose of this new rule is to allow these agencies to propose alternatives to foreclosures that are more alike the options already offered to homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Therefore, for borrowers unable to make monthly payments after the foreclosure ban expires, HUD will give servicers the ability to lengthen the mortgage term. Borrowers could see their mortgage terms extended to 360 months at market rate, to reduce their payments by 25%. In addition to a term extension, borrowers could receive an interest-free subordinate mortgage not due until after the first mortgage is paid off, otherwise known as a partial claim. HUD will offer a partial claim to borrowers who can start making their mortgage payments again.

    The USDA will also offer new options to help borrowers attain a 20% reduction in their payments. The tools include an interest rate reduction, term extension and a mortgage recovery advance, to help cover past due mortgage payments and related costs. The options can be used separately or combined.

    For VA borrowers, the VA can purchase up to 30% of borrowers’ unpaid principal balance and arrearages, and provide an interest-free subordinate loan similar to a partial claim. Servicers can also extend the loan term to up to 40 years.

    IV/ On July 23, 2021, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced streamlined COVID-19 Recovery options to help homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic bring their mortgage current and remain in their homes. 

    The new FHA COVID-19 Recovery waterfall streamlines and revises FHA’s previous options for struggling homeowners, reduces required documentation, and allows mortgage servicers to provide greater payment reduction for eligible homeowners with FHA-insured Single Family Title II forward mortgages.

    The simple two-step waterfall options intended for properties that are occupied as the homeowner’s primary residence are:

    1). COVID-19 Recovery Standalone Partial Claim: for homeowners who can resume making their current mortgage payments, the COVID-19 Recovery Standalone Partial Claim allows mortgage payment arrearages to be placed in a zero interest subordinate lien against the property that is repaid when the mortgage terminates, usually when the homeowner refinances or sells the home.

    2). COVID-19 Recovery Modification: for homeowners who cannot resume making their current monthly mortgage payments, the COVID-19 Recovery Modification extends the term of the mortgage to 360 months at a fixed rate and targets reducing the borrower’s monthly principal and interest portion of their monthly mortgage payment. The COVID-19 Recovery Modification must include a Partial Claim if the homeowner has Partial Claim funds available.

    For properties that are not occupied by the owner, mortgage servicers must offer eligible homeowners FHA’s COVID-19 Recovery Non-Occupant Loan Modification, which extends the term of the mortgage to 360 months, or less if requested by the homeowner, at a fixed interest rate.

    COVID-19 Recovery Waterfall Implementation and Homeowner Assessments

    Servicers may begin offering the new COVID-19 Recovery waterfall as soon as operationally feasible but must begin using the new waterfall for eligible homeowners within 90 days. In addition, servicers must re-review homeowners for the new COVID-19 Recovery options in circumstances where an existing home retention option has not been completed, where the homeowner was previously ineligible for a COVID-19 home retention option, or if the homeowner has re-defaulted after a COVID-19 home retention option.

    The COVID-19 Advance Loan Modification

    The changes announced today work in tandem with the pre-waterfall FHA COVID-19 Advance Loan Modification (COVID-19 ALM) announced on June 25, 2021. The COVID-19 ALM requires mortgage servicers to review their FHA mortgage servicing portfolio and offer the COVID-19 ALM to eligible homeowners. Homeowners who choose to accept the COVID-19 ALM need to only review and sign and return the mortgage modification documents sent to them by their mortgage servicer.

    V/ Others Related Legislations For Owners of Investment Properties Occupied by  Tenants


    On June 28, 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 832 into law which, among other things, allocates additional federal rent relief dollars to the state rental assistance program for housing providers with qualified tenants.

    Unlike the previous law, which caps recoupment by housing providers to 80% of back rent owed by qualified tenants, AB 832 ensures housing providers receive 100% of that back rent. Those housing providers who have already received 80% of back rent will receive the remaining 20% automatically.

    AB 832 also extends the state’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium through September 30, 2021, while prohibiting cities and counties from adopting stricter eviction moratoria through March 31, 2022.

    As a result, under this legislation, landlords will be unable to evict tenants over non-payment of rent through Sept. 30. To file an eviction lawsuit after that, the landlord must provide evidence to the court they applied for rental assistance. Landlords would also be able to apply for 100% of back and forward rent.

    On August 3rd 2021, the CDC issued new limits on evictions for non-payment of rent or mortgage through October 3, 2021. The new eviction moratorium from the CDC will be more limited in scope and will apply only to counties with substantial or high levels of COVID-19.This comes just days after the CDC’s initial ban on evictions lapsed, and follows a Supreme Court ruling in June which cast doubt on whether the CDC had the authority to ban evictions at all without Congressional authorization.

    To date, the level of community transmission in Santa Clara County, California is classified as substantial not high. To learn more click here.

    As a reminder, the agency's authority for such a ban derives from the Public Health Service Act of 1944, which gives the Department of Health and Human Services (of which CDC is a part) the authority to declare and respond to public health emergencies and control communicable diseases.

    On September 1, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a first order establishing a nationwide eviction moratorium for eligible renters. Individuals earning $99,000 or less or couples earning $198,000 or less may qualify. A tenant may also qualify if they received a 2020 stimulus check. The CDC order applies to evictions in public housing as well.

    Tenants must present their landlord with a CDC declaration form to be eligible. However, the order does not relieve a tenant’s obligation to pay rent once the moratorium expires, including rent that has come due during the moratorium. This order expired on July 31, 2021, reason why the CDC issued a new order on August 3. The new order will last until October 3, 2021 subject to the above mentioned conditions.  

    On August 26, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the CDC does not have the power to ban evictions at the federal level, at least without Congressional Action.  It did, however, state that the landlord-tenant relationship is “the particular domain of state laws”.  This ruling does not strike down those state and local ordinances relating to evictions.

    Therefore, landlords in California must still comply with existing eviction ordinances at the state and local level until and unless a court specifically strikes them down.  Unlike the CDC ban, California state law allows landlords to evict tenants for certain “no-fault” reasons, such as a landlord  in contract to sell their single family home to a buyer who will occupy the property.    However, local eviction laws may be more restrictive.  The U.S. Supreme Court, while ultimately the legal authority, has not ruled on the state and local ordinances.

    On August 13, 2021, The Supreme Court issued a ruling on a New York State eviction ban. The ruling enjoins the part of the NY law that precludes a landlord from contesting a tenant declaration of hardship.  While leaving the rest of the law intact, the court temporarily ruled the landlord must be given the opportunity to contest the validity of the tenant’s declaration of COVID financial hardship.

    Under California law, a tenant behind on rent need only sign a declaration of hardship under “penalty of perjury” and return it to the landlord within 15 days after receipt of a notice to pay rent or quit. If so, then the landlord is precluded from filing an eviction lawsuit or if a lawsuit was already filed, it could be dismissed.

    The Supreme Court has now decided that this procedure violates the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In their review of a New York law very similar to the California Tenant Protection Act, the Supreme Court has described a procedure wherein a tenant self-certifies financial hardship, as a “scheme” that violates the Court’s longstanding teaching that ordinarily “no man can be a judge in his own case.” Consequently, the Court issued an order enjoining enforcement of the New York law.   Although the U.S. Supreme Court did not specifically rule on California law, landlords may be able to use this ruling in some circumstances.

    What does this mean practically?  For starters, landlords should be able to go back to the eviction courts to demand all of the rent that has been due and unpaid during the pandemic even going back to March of last year, and challenge the tenant on their COVID declaration.

    But is it worth doing this? Maybe. The tenant’s declaration is broadly worded and may not be too difficult for the tenant to defend. Although, public benefits received can be considered in evaluating the tenant’s veracity. Clearly the judge in such a case will be in a position to make the determination of whether the declaration holds up.

    However, the actual procedure for challenging a declaration in California is not clear. There may so there may be considerable confusion as to exactly how a landlord might proceed to take advantage of this new rulings in court. It is advised that each landlord consult with their own legal counsel. 

    As a local San Jose Realtor and Short Sale and Foreclosure Specialist, certified  in California as Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR) by the California and National Association of Realtors, I am available 7-days a week to help and discuss your situation and provide you with relevant and up-to-date information about short sales and foreclosure prevention strategies free of charge.



    More Real Estate Tips

     

    Navigation

     

    Sophia Delacotte San Jose Realtor


    Save
     
     
     
     
    Sophia Delacotte San Jose Realtor
     
    Sophia Delacotte SFR San Jose Realtor
     

      Sophia Delacotte CHS HAFA Specialist in San Jose

     
     

    Sophia Delacotte San Jose Realtor

     
     
    Sophia Delacotte Realtor in San Jose CA
    Save
     
    Remodeling and Home Design

     

    What my clients are saying  

    Sophia was extremely helpful in the process of purchasing a condo. We did a lot of the search long-distance and she was excellent at picking places that prioritized the needs I had expressed over our phone calls. She was also extremely helpful in coordinating with the title company and the loan officer in order to ensure a smooth buying process. I really appreciate her hard work and diligence throughout the process.

     

    ~ Morgan M. - First Time Home Buyer

    My wife and I have sold two homes with Sophia. She raises the bar so high, that I can't imagine calling anyone else. At the same time, she takes the time to explain everything. She works out a strategy for each property and explains her thinking for every aspect. She knows the ins and outs of real estate -- what is and isn't worth time, effort, and money. At the end of every deal, I've always been glad she's on our side. Especially after seeing the closing price. My last sale was a property that was part of a trust, and she helped make sure I had everything needed to make that sale go as smoothly as possible. Bottom line: I simply cannot recommend Sophia highly enough. She is a true partner for her clients, taking on much of the stress around a sale, and working tirelessly through every aspect of a real estate negotiation. Her knowledge, guidance, and tenacity are invaluable. You will be glad she's on your side.

     

    ~ Brent M. - Seller

    We were extremely pleased working with Sophia on a sale of our Willow Glen home. She made a sound market analysis, developed a sale strategy, made recommendations on what upgrades were worth making and what not, provided excellent help with a staging, guided us on all stages of the process, and negotiated a sale bringing us $180k over the asking price and free one month rent back. We can highly recommend Sophia for anyone's real estate needs. She is highly professional, and her vast knowledge of the field, including legal aspects, unique negotiating skills, work ethics, experience and complete dedication make her a top notch realtor, head and shoulder above your average Silicon Valley real estate agent. She can be trusted to match and exceed your goals.

     

    ~ Alex & Rachel S. - Homeowners

    We felt very fortunate to have Sophia on our side during a recent "long-distance" real estate purchase. I see other reviewers using terms like "relentless," "devoted," and "detail-oriented" which are also true but don't fully describe her. This is closer: Sophia is like having another you, except she knows what she's doing, she is everywhere at the same time, and she seems to be able to devote all of her enormous energy to tracking the complex pieces of the deal and getting your problem solved. Sophia may have been more invested in our transaction than I was! Whenever some issue presented itself my wife would ask "what are we going to do about that?" I'd say "I told Sophia." Done. In short, you can fumble through a huge transaction and hope that you are doing everything properly and aren't getting cheated or missing something or making or a huge mistake, or you can hire Sophia.

     

    ~ Tim F. - Buyer investment property

    Everyone who works with Sophia says to you that she is relentless, detail-oriented, and not shy to put on pressure so that things get done. Sophia worked with us on finding a home back in June 2020 and by November we've moved into a place we're really happy about. She was understanding about our preferences, patient about the search, and prepared to spend months with us until the right house showed up that checked all the boxes. She also let us explore midsummer when we started wondering about other neighborhoods or living situations. Where Sophia really distinguished herself was once we put an offer on a place that we were really serious about. She was available all night and day (she even stayed up with us calling the mortgage broker and the selling agent at 10:30 at night until we had confirmation). Sophia, we couldn't have done it without you. Thank you so much for your kindness and your persistence.

     

    ~ Christian B. - First Time Home Buyer

    We can't say anything but the best about our buying experience with Sophia as our agent. We had come across some new developments in Hayward and fell in love with the plans and finishes at Sohay and it happens that a friend of ours lived there. Long story short, he connected us with Sophia and the process was smoother than butter. Sophia was all over the developer with moving things along, even during shelter-in-place and provided us with timely responses. She also didn't balk when we had stupid first homebuyer questions. From what I hear, since we bought "new" the process may be a bit easier. None-the-less, it was complicated to us but Sophia made the entire contract, loan process and finally closing, palatable with her guidance. I'd recommend her as anyone's agent (buying or selling), we'll definitely be working with her in the future. Thanks so much again Sophia!

     

    ~ Norman D. - First Time Home Buyer

    This is our 5th transaction with Sophia and she delivers every time! Her marketing to sell our property was outstanding and she is always pro-active in making sure that all the parties involved (title company, other agents, loan officers) respected the deadlines to close on time.

     

    ~ Sean M. - Buyer/Seller

    Sophia was recommended by the lawyer for my dad's estate because we might encounter inchoate legal issues. Instead, we encountered a pandemic that slowed and complicated every aspect of the process, but Sophia proved adept with that too. She used the period of enforced idleness to thoroughly research the market for an old house in a unique neighborhood and zeroed in on just the right asking price to suit my needs under the difficult circumstances. When we were finally able to list the property, it sold in less than a week for more than we asked, without contingencies, to just the right people for our family home. Sophia has an excellent team (inspectors, cleaners, repair people, photographers, office staff) that whipped things into shape efficiently, and her good reputation with other realtors and title companies led to a smooth operation without delays. Everyone is happy about the results, I'm relieved and grateful for Sophia's expert guidance throughout, and she made it seem so easy!

     

    ~ Maureen A. - Trustee Sale

    Sophia is one of a kind agent. Unlike many agents out there who only care about their commission, Sophia truly cares about her clients' interests. She is extremely knowledgeable, very responsive and detailed oriented. She guided us throughout the whole process carefully and patiently and made everything easy for us. She did not count her time to respond to all of our questions, to help us with the staging of our home (which was challenging during Covid-19 time) and to review all the documents one by one with us diligently. She is AMAZING!!! I would highly recommend Sophia to anyone who is looking for a top notch agent. She is a true professional, loyal and a genuinely nice person.

     

    ~ Julie A. - Relocation

    We've been extremely pleased with Sophia's help in selling our house. Her deep, data-backed expertise of the Bay Area real estate business combined with her attention and care for her clients make her the perfect real estate agent. Sophia takes pride in being fully transparent and frank with her clients, while at the same time fighting for the best possible outcome for them. We couldn't recommend her more highly to people wanting to sell their Bay Area house

     

    ~ Raphael L. - Seller

    Sophia is the BEST! We recently decided to sell our home of 41 years and move to a bigger place. We were both dreading this process as we'd had only one other experience buying real estate and neither of us remembered much about it! We bought the first house new, and had no experience at all at selling. Sophia was on top of everything, at all times, and made the entire process much smoother than either my husband or I had anticipated. Her legal background and extensive knowledge of the real estate world made everything so easy for us. She took the worry out of our sale, and made buying this next house a pleasure. She really knows her stuff, and as someone else here said, she reads every word of every contract or legal document! She is good at explaining things as well. We could not have asked for a better experience, and are so glad we found Sophia. You will be very glad you chose her too!

     

    ~ Lois G. Purchase Contingent to Sell of Her Home

    Sophia represented me when I was selling my property. She is the consummate professional. She had a clear plan and was very good with communication and follow-up. She produces results and I was very satisfied with the sales price. Highly recommended.

     

    ~ Cara A. - Investment Property

    Sophia is an excellent Realtor. We found her by referral made by our family Lawyer. She took the stress out of old memories and made the sale of my Fiancé's family home fun. Excellent suggestions on the home remodeling being sold led to the highest sale in the neighborhood at the time. It also led to my condo sale 2 years later that just closed today. We used her again with the same results as in the past. My brother is now utilizing her skills to sale his home of 40 years and purchase a new country home. She became like part of our little family of 3 and we enjoyed her visits.

     

    ~ Stefen G. - Seller

    Buying a home is stressful, meeting Sophia was a blessing. With our busy schedules she kept us focused and worked too many late nights with us "sorry Sophia" with us on offers. She was the calming factor for us during inspections and negotiations. When we did find the right house, we had a great team, but if it wasn't for Sophia overseeing everything and keeping everyone in the loop, I know we would have had undue stress that we didn't need. Sophia truly goes above an beyond. We owe her a lot

     

    ~ Lisa B. - Foreclosure Purchase

    I live in New Hampshire and became the trustee of my aunt's estate in California. I was out in CA for a week to find the best real estate agent to sell her place which involved working with a trust and a long distance seller. Sophia won the listing. She was nothing short of amazing. She had the place listed within a week and offers within the month. She took care of everything. I am so grateful to her for making this process as simple as it could be. I highly recommend her.

     

    ~ Lynn W. - Trustee Sale in Senior Community

    Sophia is foremost a professional who is skilled at negotiating for the benefit of her clients. We were truly and pleasantly surprised by the conditions she was able to negotiate for us on top of selling the property under an accelerated timeline. Her professionalism is complemented by her thoroughness and work ethic. Sophia is also kind and goes beyond and then some to help her clients. Despite having closed over a month ago, Sophia is still helping us through challenges with the Property Management company!

     

    ~ Harry H. - 1031 Exchange Tenants Occupied

    As a Santa Clara County attorney, I have sought Sophia Delacotte's advice on real estate transactions. Sophia has consistently given me the best advice. I highly recommend Sophia for her outstanding negotiation skills, superior knowledge of the real estate market, devotion to her clients' best interests, superior results”.

     

    ~ Michel R. - Lawyer

    Sophia is dedicated to each of her clients, helping us to understand the process and setting up the schedule for all elements of preparing the house, publicity preparation and marketing, staging, photography, and open houses. She made recommendations regarding what upgrades to the property would be beneficial and which would not. She scheduled meetings with us and with the inspectors and followed up on each item. I have just noted the 102 emails we exchanged through this process. Even while on a short vacation out of the country, Sophia made time to coordinate the things that needed to be done to review and accept an offer. I would definitely recommend Sophia Delacotte to friends.

     

    ~ Phil C. - Trustee Sale

    My dear friends needed my help to sell their investment property in San Jose and I'm a realtor in San Diego. I reached out to Sophia and she was very responsive and promptly reached out to my friends and helped them navigate through the sale of their investment property. Sophia is very professional, knowledgeable and hardworking! Sophia is simply the best when it comes to communications with all parties from beginning all the way to closing. Will absolutely refer all my Bay Area friends and family to Sophia for their Real Estate needs.

     

    ~ Jennifer W. - 1031 Exchange

    Sophia is simply the best from the beginning all the way to closing. Very professional, knowledgeable and hard working! Enjoyed selling our house with Sophia!

     

    ~ Mo Y. - Seller

    I honestly don’t know what I would have done without Sophia’s help. The property – a condo in downtown San Jose – needed to be sold quickly. Despite HOA litigation and adversarial market conditions, Sophia quickly and professionally arranged for the condo to be cleaned, staged and shown. Sophia also made sure the condo took center stage on Redfin and Zillow. Within just a few days, the condo had garnered thousands of views on various real estate sites. In no time at all we had a number of interested buyers and investors making inquiries. In record time, Sophia negotiated a great price and skillfully closed the deal. I would highly recommend Sophia for any real estate transaction in the Bay Area.

     

    ~ Andrew E. - Sale In Connection With a Divorce

    Sophia is an amazing realtor. Because of her years of experience, her knowledge of the laws and her high work ethics, she simplified our part in selling our property in a very short amount of time. She is totally engaged in her clients welfare and takes on the majority of the work. She is a delightful, caring person and an absolute jewel to work with. She made this selling process so easy for us. Sophia is exceptional in her field. We are so grateful to have had her as our agent.

     

    ~ Diana S. - Trustee Sale

    Sophia was amazing to work with. Because of her years of experience in Real Estate and Law, she made the sale of our property so easy. She provided us with needed resources and guided us through all the necessary steps. Sophia is totally committed to us with daily update communication. She is very organized, driven and a true professional. She has a charming personality and made us feel secure in all our decisions. We are very grateful that we found her thru Yelp when we needed to sell our property fast.

     

    ~ Am N. - Trustee Sale

    I have known and worked with Sophia for several years. She is hard working, smart, and knows exactly what needs to get done. You and your family would be fortunate to have her on your side.

     

    ~ Steve M. - Sale Tenants Occupied Property

    We were very pleased with our relationship with Sophia and the overall outcome. When we found out we had to sell our house quickly we began to search for who we connected with but also who was best qualified. We connected with Sophia due to her no nonsense approach, attention to detail, availability and her great understanding of the legals that surround the sale of a home. While doing all that she was very pleasant and personable. I would use Sophia again and recommend her to anyone looking to buy or sell. Thank you Sophia!

     

    ~ Ben C. - Relocation

    An excellent person for your real estate needs. Sophia felt like family and had very positive ideas during the remodeling stages that we incorporated into the final sale. She is a hard working agent and replied almost immediately to our inquiries. We had no problems and the final sale was in a matter of a few weeks once listed. We highly recommend her for your property.

     

    ~ Stephen G. - Sale Investment Property

    Smart, efficient, capable, honest, hardworking are just a few of the descriptions that come to mind to describe the amazing service provided by Sophia. She goes above and beyond expectations to be of assistance to her clients.

     

    ~ Linda S. - Probate Sale

    Sophia is wonderful! She helped us find the perfect buyer for our bizarrely beautiful house. She made the whole process such an easy affair and made sure all the I’s were dotted and T’s were crossed so that the sale went more smoothly than I ever imagined would be possible.

     

    ~ Darrel B. - Relocation

    Sophia is The Best. Professional, Ethics and Result oriented, Look nowhere else and get in touch with Sophia. My family is very proud to have worked with her and she delivered more than expected. We learnt so much and are thankful to her. We Wish Sophia the Best.

     

    ~ O. V. - Investor

    Sophia helped my mother sell her house , while also helping her with overwhelming circumstances. Her sales strategy was impressive, and got my mother way more than she ever thought. She then helped her find a new house , perfect for her. All the while personally helping her with trying circumstances. This woman has the patience of a saint ! Her skills , integrity, knowledge, sincerity, and incredibly endearing personality would serve anyone looking to buy or sell ,or honorary member of the family for that matter. She's that good. Would not only recommend her, but go out of my way to steer someone her way. You simply cannot go wrong with Sophia.

     

    ~ Wally P. - Trustee Sale

    Sophia is the most amazing Real Estate professional I have ever seen in action. She puts her client's interests first and goes to incredible lengths - above and beyond what one would expect. I am an attorney and have been practicing for over 25 years and have worked with and observed many Realtors over the years. Sophia is head and shoulders above the rest. Her care, attention to detail, and whole person approach are outstanding. She is the best that I have ever seen.

     

    ~ David B. - Trustee Sale

    Sophia has been my agent twice, one time to sell and the other to buy. Thanks to her skills and experience, she was able to help us through each step of the process and get us great deals. I particularly appreciated her proactive attitude to get things done, and her amazing attention to details to make sure nothing slipped through the cracks. Each time we also got praise from the other parties about her professionalism.

     

    ~ Julien R. - Sale Investment Property

    Sophia has gone above and beyond in regards to helping my wife and I find a new home for our expanding family. She is very informative in all aspects of buying a home! I highly recommend her!

     

    ~ Josh M. - Investor

    Working with Sophia was a great experience. She is not only a trustworthy person, but she also always had my best interest in mind. She showed me various condos and explained the pros and cons of all properties which made my decision to choose the right condo easier. She constantly followed up with all the parties involved to make sure the home buying process went smoothly. This is evidenced by the fact that we closed right on time! She even made sure all the repairs were completed to my condo before I moved in. I would recommend Sophia to anyone who wants a realtor that will fight for them every step of the way.

     

    ~ Sean M. - First Time Home Buyer

    I worked with Sophia Delacotte several times of the last 18 months. She sold my home with suave and suggested some another great agents remotely for my relocation. There was: honest and frequent communication; clear expectations; and fairer than average rates from the start; no sandbagging; a watchful eye and excellent management of all aspects of the process and contracts. Other realtors in the last decade had really left me with a negative opinion of agents, but Sophia made a name for herself and removed my bias. I'm also glad for Sophia's eagle-eye for legal trouble, so when it came to here recommendations for covering ourselves, I followed them without hesitation. Suggestions on what needed fixed, and encouragement for transparent disclosures is important in California. Buying and/or selling a home can stressful, but it was fun with Sophia for myself and my family

     

    ~ Kyle B. - Relocation

    Sophia Delacotte is thorough, knowledgeable, and helpful. She assisted me with the sale of my townhouse in San Jose. It sold after one open house, and I received multiple offers. Sophia screened all of the offers and recommended the offers which would close with the least amount of hassles or surprises. She is extremely knowledgeable about the real estate market. With her legal background, she is a strong and effective advocate for your side of the transaction. Sophia always kept me in the loop, was clear with what she needed, and the timing of the response to what she needed. She is a pleasure to work with, responsive, and committed to making the entire process go as smoothly as possible. I highly recommend Sophia and would definitely work with her again in the future.

     

    ~ Bonnie B. - Relocation

    Sophia has been very professional throughout the process of my house purchase. She was very patient as I was quite particular about what I want with the budget I have. Sophia was also very helpful and very knowledgeable. She is a very good realtor.

     

    ~ Jackson T. - Investor

    When we met Sophia for the first time, on a Sunday afternoon, we were immediately struck by her professionalism and competence. With skill and patience, she navigated us through the complex and confusing steps of getting pre-approved for a loan, viewing the house, putting down an offer, and learning when to walk away. As first-time home owners, we were nervous and uncertain. Sophia gave us invaluable advice and encouragement during the ups and downs, and her knowledge of the real estate business and housing market always led us in the right direction. One of our favorite things about having her as our agent was that she made herself constantly available. She met with us every weekend for three months to check out houses we liked, and she was always savvy about the state of the house and what might appear on the disclosures. She struck the perfect balance between giving advice and allowing us to form an opinion ourselves.

     

    ~ Maria J. - First Time Home Buyer

    Sophia was a dream to work with. She handled a very difficult short sale for my wife and I. Without her help we would have been lost. She was a great negotiator and partnered with us to help explain every piece of paper that we had to sign as well as assisting us gather proper documents an information all the parties needed. I can't recommend her more highly.

     

    ~ Nate M. - Short Sale

    Sophia helped my wife and I during our house search this summer. She was incredibly diligent, honest and forthright. Unlike a typical agent she actually advised us against couple of houses due to issues she discovered in the disclosures (she reads every word). As first time buyers we were easily seduced by appearances but Sophia kept us grounded! Definitely look forward to working with her again and would definitely recommend her services to friends.

     

    ~ Sarang R. - First Time Home Buyer

    Sophia has a sign in her office which reads "tenacity" which describes her commitment to her clients and her ability to follow through on a transaction. She's a great (full time!) agent to work with, and as a first time home buyer. I can't express how important it was to have her by our side to help us every step of the way. She's straight-forward (former lawyer), and french (former Parisian city girl), which only adds to her charm. Beyond her great work ethic, she conducts herself by the book with an uncommonly high degree of professionalism. Sophia will look out for your interests, and protect your privacy. While I'm happy to have a home (thanks Sophia!), my wife and I will miss having her as our agent.

     

    ~ Stephen R. - First Time Home Buyer

    I am so thrilled that I chose Sophia Delacotte to handle the sale of my condo. Having had my first sale fall through two years ago at the fault of my realtor and title company, I was very nervous about going through the process again.Sophia’s confidence and ability was unwavering. She is very thorough and detailed, and her great follow-through skills assured me that nothing would slip by unnoticed.Everything went smoothly with the sale, even with my many unconventional secondary loans. Escrow closed on time, and I received my funds quickly. I would recommend Sophia to anyone buying or selling a home.

     

    ~ Radel S. - Seller

    I was a first time home buyer in the US market, and Sophia has been fantastic helping me understand the whole process. I am so glad I hired her as my agent. She made every step go really smoothly and I have now found my dream house in the Bay area! She has been very responsive and quick to react when I needed offers to be put together. I strongly recommend Sophia for a Bay area acquisition, especially for non US citizens who are not familiar with local practices.

     

    ~ Sylvie B. - First Time Home Buyer

    Sophia Delacotte is thorough, knowledgeable, and helpful. She assisted me with the sale of my condo. The condo sold after one open house, and I received multiple offers. Sophia screened all of the offers and recommended the offers which would close with the least amount of hassles or surprises. She is extremely knowledgeable about the real estate market. With her legal background, she is a strong and effective advocate for your side of the transaction. Sophia always kept me in the loop, was clear with what she needed, and the timing of the response to what she needed. She is a pleasure to work with, responsive, and committed to making the entire process go as smoothly as possible. I highly recommend Sophia and would definitely work with her again in the future.

     

    ~ Laurie O. - Seller

    I had to sell my house fairly quickly because of a move and imminent wedding. Sophia proved to be the best choice I could have made. She was extremely resourceful and guided me expertly through paperwork and expectations. The house sold after only two open houses, and we received multiple offers. I was also very satisfied with the price obtained. In addition, she made the whole process as painless as can be. Sophia provided very solid support, and her legal background was very helpful to navigate the documents required. I was glad she was on my side! I highly recommend Sophia Delacotte as your real estate agent.

     

    ~ Yves E. - Relocation

    It was wonderful having Sophia help my mother sell her house. She went above and beyond our expectations, and was very patient when addressing my mother’s concerns, making the process as smooth as possible. The house sold on the first open house, and we received multiple offers. Sophia screened all offers to make sure the one we chose would close without any surprises. I highly recommend Sophia to anyone needing a great realtor.

     

    ~ Phil R. - Relocation

    We used Sophia again this Spring as we had to move to reduce my commute. Sophia not only helped us to sell our house in record time but also was very diligent in managing the multiple offers market - she carefully analyzed all the options and helped us dot the i's and cross the t's with choosing the right offer and family. When it came to finding our new home Sophia pulled out all the stops to ensure we got the home we wanted. Sophia built a strong relationship with the selling agent and ensured that our interests were protected. Staying up late into the night negotiating she secured the home we were looking for. Sophia also advised us throughout the process and made sure we did not just settle on any home - someone we can rely on with strong values a great work ethic and her customers interests being number 1.

     

    ~ Amin D. - Buyer

    We have Sophia as our realtor for close to 3 years and think she is really awesome. She makes it a point to understand our needs and gives us good advice on the market swings and how to offer on the properties that we were interested in. She doesn't push us and respect our thoughts and looks out for us. She always makes time to see us even if it is at the very last minute and helps us through the whole process from inspecting the house and seeing if it fits our needs and personality, to thoroughly asking the buyer's realtor and being absolutely professional in giving a good image to the seller and his/her agent. We bought our new home in 2014. Sophia stayed with us throughout the whole process till escrow was completed and was always still available to help us after.She is well connected and referred us to a great loan agent who gave us the best interest rate and helped us close in 14 days. We will definitely ask her to assist us again if we are going to buy or sell in the future.

     

    ~ Stan A. - Buyer

    Sophia is the kind of person who makes your house dream come true. That was our case. Sophia listens to you and suggests places that work for you. She tailors time and resources for your special needs. Since we met her the house hunting was accurate and in a few weeks we were able to bid and get our dream house. After many years of house ownership, my wife and I feel very lucky we met her.

     

    ~ Angelo M. - First Time Home Buyer

    It's really hard to find an agent who is looking out for you and your needs. Sophia cares for her clients deeply and understands what we want. She will go above and beyond to assist us in meeting the deadlines and helps us with understanding the intricacies of offering and the market trends.

     

    ~ Surt A. - Buyer

    Sophia Delacotte was the selling agent for our home in San Jose, California in September 2013. We were in contract for the sale in about three weeks. Sophia was a consummate professional from our first meeting, to our open house and through to our move out of state. She is extremely knowledgeable about the real estate market and, with her legal background, a strong and effective advocate for your side of the transaction. She is also a pleasure to work with, very responsive and is committed to making the entire process as stress free as possible. I highly recommend Sophia as an agent who is head and shoulders above most others in the profession. I feel we were fortunate indeed to have had her as our agent.

     

    ~ Kathy D. - Relocation

    Because of Sophia's clever strategy we made our offer sight unseen. We are now the proud owners of a Condominium. Because of her tireless efforts she made the whole process seamless. Thank you Sophia for all your hard work!!

     

    ~ Margie A - Investor

    Sophia made my short sale purchase as easy as it could be. Honest, tough, does what you ask. I was very pleased. She Made sure I had all the right inspections to protect myself.

     

    ~ Paul B. - Foreclosure Purchase

    As a mortgage originator for over 15 years, I have worked with hundreds of real estate professionals. Sophia is actively involved with the purchase from the time of pre-approval to closing. However, it does not end there. She maintains a business relationship with her clients and is there to assist with any needs from service providers to home information. Her clients are her priority and they are fortunate to have such a fine professional representing them.

     

    ~ Camille D. - Buyer Loan Officer

    Great advice , incredibly efficient! Sophia successfully guided us to buy a house in a very competitive market, and helped manage the transaction every step of the way. You'll want her on your side!

     

    ~ Caroline M. - First Time Home Buyer

    I have found Sophia to be a thorough, ethical, and extremely competent real estate professional. Her knowledge of this challenging real estate market and her passion to advocate for her clients is remarkable. I have worked with many realtors and I count Sophia at the very top of her profession. I have complete confidence that if you are looking for a no-nonsense real estate professional, you will find one in Sophia Delacotte.

     

    ~ Marc A. - Relocation

    Sophia is the most honest, ethical and loyal realtor I have ever worked with. To this day, I remember her telling me that if the sale wasn't in my best interest, she wouldn't feel comfortable representing me. It was very refreshing to know that the client's best interest was her foremost concern. She stands by her clients from the beginning of the process until the ink is dry on the final document, and follows up after the sale to ensure no hidden obstacles have emerged. She is diligent in her efforts to manage the process of a home sale with all parties involved. She keeps her clients informed every step of the way and works tirelessly to forge a positive outcome. Sophia is also like a member of the family. She displays a true and genuine concern for the welfare of her clients and displays this not merely through words but through her actions. Without hesitation I would recommend her to anyone in need of a realtor that is transparent, ethical, and a true professional.

     

    ~ Greg Z. - Short Sale

    Sophia is very thorough, knowledgeable and helpful. The short Sale process is confusing and worrisome but Sophia was able to help me navigate the paperwork, deadlines and legal jargon. She was respectful, responsive and most importantly, she delivered results! I recommend her.

     

    ~ Ann A. - Short Sale

    I will relocate with my family from Europe to Silicon Valley in summer 2012. Early in my quest to find a home, I was very fortunate to identify and work with Sophia Delacotte, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Almaden San Jose. Her help has been invaluable every step of the way from presenting our offer to the close of escrow a few months later. She has been remarkably helpful in particular with regards to dealing with all financial complexities attached to a cross border transaction. Thanks to an amazing sense of attention to details, she masterfully coordinated the entire transaction with all stakeholders and parties involved and made us feel completely safe about buying our first home in the USA. She has clearly exceeded all my expectations and provided a level of service largely beyond the call of duty of a regular real estate agent. I highly recommend Sophia to anyone looking to make a real estate investment in the Bay Area.

     

    ~ Nadia K. - Relocation

    My wife and I met Sophia socially, and she offered to advise us in our search for investment property in another city. Since then, she has been incredibly generous with her time, and has given us precious recommendations on what deals to go for, or run from. We are very grateful and wish her the greatest success.

     

    ~ Michel B. - Investor

    Working with an agent like Sophia is like a breath of fresh air. She is diligent about providing information when requested and quick to respond to needs, or concerns. Her dedication to her transactions, from beginning to end, helps to insure quick and timely closings.

     

    ~ Heather C. - Investor

    Sophia helped us purchase our first home, she was patient and addressed all our concerns. She's very responsive and I couldn't have picked a better real estate agent. She is the best!!!

     

    ~ Sal C. - First Time Home Buyer

    Sophia is a straight shooter. I learned very quickly that it is of essence to have a Realtor who is bullish and will help you get what you need. Sophia was always keeping us in the loop, very clear with what she needed, the timing of it and the why she needed it piece. The short sale process if very confusing and frustrating for a buyer and yet she seemed to make it as seamless as possible. I would recommend her to anyone that is looking to sell!

     

    ~ Cindy L. - Short Sale

    We met Sophia at an Open House and immediately clicked with her. We have worked together for several months now on various property and development projects. As her clients, we find her exceedingly smart, dependable, and thorough. On our very first collaboration with Sophia, she worked long and hard, carrying us through every detail. She had our back the entire time so we had peace of mind throughout. She's a real pleasure to work with; any client would be lucky to have her in their camp

     

    ~ Nora N. - Investor

    More Reviews

    Want to Know How Much Your Home is Worth?

    Get Your FREE Home Market Analysis Report Right Now!

    YES, SHOW ME NOW