In an effort to curb foreclosures, Bank of America is offering some of its defaulting home owners relocation assistance of anywhere from $2,500 to as much as $30,000 if they agree to complete a short sale.
Bank of America and other banks increasingly are becoming more willing to complete short sales than in the past, seeing it as a much less expensive alternative than if a home owner falls into foreclosure. With a short sale, banks are able to get ownership of the property more quickly, which tends to allow banks to keep the homes in better condition for resale and avoid costly other fees. Also, studies have shown that short sale properties tend to sell for more than properties in foreclosure.
As such, more banks have tried out special offers to struggling home owners to get them to pursue a short sale over foreclosure. Bank of America first began piloting its short sale relocation program in Florida last year, offering up to $20,000 to home owners who agreed to complete a short sale. JPMorgan Chase piloted a program that offered some home owners up to $35,000 to complete a short sale.
Bank of America has now rolled out the program nationally. To participate, home owners must get preapproval on the sales price of the home. The sale also must close by Sept. 26, 2013.
“This program can help customers make a planned transition from ownership when home retention options have been exhausted or they have made a decision not to keep the home,” says Bob Hora, a Bank of America executive.