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Phoenix, AZ Short Sales…Arms Length Transaction

If you do not know what a short sale is…then please, first read this post describing the process.

As part of the agreement between the lender and the seller attempting to short sale their home in Phoenix , AZ,  is often something termed an “Arm’s Length Affidavit”.

An arms-length affidavit is a document created by the banks to prevent agreements with relatives or friends to act as a straw buyer. Then, after the transaction closes, the pretend buyers quickly transfer title back to the seller. This practice really means the sellers have repurchased their home for way less than what they owed, which greatly benefits those sellers. But banks say sellers can’t benefit. If they wanted sellers to benefit, they probably would have agreed to a loan modification.

Each bank has different arm’s length verbiage but some of the things it typically address are:

  • No party to the short sale is a family member, business associate or person who shares a business interest with the seller.
  • There are no hidden terms or special agreements
  • Once the transaction closes the sellers shall not be allowed to remain in the home by renting back, and shall not regain title to the home
  • No parties to the transaction will receive any compensation except for commissions paid to agents.
These are the most common points made in most arm’s length agreements I have seen…however they do vary from bank to bank.
Of these points, I have most often seen agreements where the buyer of a short sale property is an investor and would be happy to rent the property back to the sellers. Depending on the verbiage in the arm’s length affidavit of the specific lender…this could potentially be a violation. The seller typically signs this form indicating they DO NOT intend to rent back the home. AND…the buyer and agents are required to sign this as well. So, as an agent, I do not want to participate in a transaction where I know there is a “side deal” between the principals to rent back. I like my real estate license and intend on keeping it!
IF YOU SIGN AN ARMS LENGTH AFFIDAVIT ON YOUR SHORT SALE AND ARE FOUND TO BE IN VIOLATION YOU COULD BE HELD LIABLE FOR MORTGAGE FRAUD WHICH FALLS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE F.B.I.
Whether you are a buyer, seller or agent…be sure you take this document seriously. As of this writing, I can not find ANY evidence that banks are actually pursuing people who have violated this affidavit. BUT…I do not want to be part of a deal that ends up being the test case for the F.B.I. Do you?

As always… if you are looking for a GREAT agent to help with your real estate needs please e-mail me at Adele@GreaterPhoenixHomes.com or give me a call (or text) at 602-504-3898 or 888-897-7821 x 114. Plus, I have a GREAT search tool on my web site that gives you the ability to search the entire MLS…just like agents do. Very COOL! ;) Go to Metro Phoenix Homes For Sale and check it out! YOU can create and save as many searches as you would like…and it is THE SAME SEARCH I DO AS AN AGENT! You will LOVE it!

THIS IS THE BEST MOST ACCURATE SEARCH OF OUR LOCAL MLS

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