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For Immediate Release
Oct. 31, 2007

Contact: Melanie Green, Communications Director
E-mail: MGreen@NEFAR.org
Phone: (904) 394-9494, ext. 1204
Fax: (904) 398-8025

Northeast Florida Association of Realtors Works To Reduce Foreclosures

Specialized Realtor Training Benefits Homeowners Facing Financial Problems Including Foreclosure

JACKSONVILLE, FL - The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors has begun offering specialized "short sales" training courses for its members as a measure to help financially distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Some homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages or interest-only loans are finding it tough to keep up with their increased monthly payments. For those who have little or no equity in their homes, trying to sell their property results in an upside-down financial situation. Often, homeowners don't even recognize that they are facing a financial problem until they are ready to list their home and learn that the current market value is less than what they owe on their mortgage.

A short sale occurs when a mortgage lender agrees to accept a payoff of less than the balance due on the loan. A short sale may or may not involve a property in foreclosure. Many lenders are now more actively working with property owners to find solutions rather than charging off a delinquent loan or foreclosing on the property, since alternate options are usually less costly and time consuming for the lender. Unfortunately, homeowners often don't realize that pre-foreclosure or short-sale options may be available - a situation in which having the specialized knowledge of a Realtor working on their behalf is invaluable.

Short sales can offer great advantages for homeowners. One is that all mortgage debt is fully discharged. Another significant advantage is the reduced negative impact on the homeowner's credit score, since short sales appear on a credit report as "pre-foreclosure in redemption," rather than "debt discharged due to foreclosure."

Because a short sale involves the seller's negotiating with the lender, these transactions can be more complicated. NEFAR President Hank Oltmanns says, "Short sales can require more work for Realtors. Helping a seller resolve their difficult financial situation to avoid foreclosure, however, makes it all worthwhile. It helps sellers, it helps our overall economy, and it's a service we're happy to provide."

The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors (NEFAR) is headquartered in Jacksonville with satellite service centers in Orange Park, Jacksonville Beach and Palatka. NEFAR is the largest trade association in northeast Florida, serving more than 7,400 Realtor and affiliate members in Duval, Clay, Putnam and St. Johns counties.

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