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Senator Scott Brown Backs Bill to Speed Up Short Sales

This past month, new federal legislation has been introduced jointly by Bay State Senator Scott Brown, and Senators. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Sherrod Brown (D- Ohio) to shorten the process of a short sale.  The bill would require financial institutions to respond in writing within 75 days indicating if it will accept or reject an offer, plans to provide a counter offer, or wishes to request an extension.  If a bank were to fail to reply in the allotted time, a prospective home buyer would be entitled to $1,000 and recovery of any legal fees associated with the attempted purchase. This bill is similar to a failed U.S. House of Representatives bill from 2011 which included language that stated that without a written response from a mortgage holder after 45 days, a short sale would be considered approved.

“It’s time to close the communication gap between banks and prospective homeowners who are willing and able to purchase short sale properties,” Brown said. “Our economy needs these home sales, and this legislation would lift the real estate market and benefit neighborhoods across the country.”

Recently, GBAR Members John McGeough and Anthony Lamacchia, co-owners of McGeough Lamacchia Realty, Inc. in Waltham, were interviewed by Fox 25 News on the subject. They believe that the bill will not only simplify the short sale process, but has the potential to lift up the housing market. 

The new measure, which is backed by the National Association of REALTORS®, was read twice in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.