Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Scott Brown (R-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) have introduced legislation, The Prompt Notification of Short Sale Act, to improve the housing market by expediting the short sale process. The legislation addresses the lengthy closing process that often comes with a short sale by requiring banks to respond to prospective buyers within 75 days.
“There are neighborhoods across the country full of empty homes and underwater owners that have legitimate offers, but unresponsive banks,” said Sen. Murkowski. “What we have here is a failure to communicate. Why don’t we make it easier for Americans trying to participate in the housing market, regardless of whether the answer is ‘yes,’ ‘no’ or ‘maybe?’”
The Prompt Notification of Short Sale Act would help buyers considering a short-sale home—a home where sellers are in negative equity and cannot pay off the balance. Presently, it can take many months to get any kind of response to short sale offers. The Act would:
►Require a written response of an acceptance, rejection, counter offer, or the need for an extension of time within 75 days of a request from a homeowner.
►Create a $1,000 penalty for those who do not comply, along with legal fees.
“For most buyers, short sales are anything but. The seemingly-endless waiting game associated with short sales represents a dangerous drag on our housing market,” said Sen. Brown. “If we’re going to recover from the housing crisis, we need to make it easier for qualified candidates by purchase homes. This common-sense legislation helps prospective homebuyers and distressed homeowners alike, while helping to rebuild our neighborhoods and fostering long-term economic growth.”