Treasury Department Interview with Laurie Maggiano

Recently we had a dream come true and were invited to the United States Treasury Department’s Home Ownership Preservation office to interview Laurie Maggiano, who is one of the architects of the government-backed Making Home Affordable program which created uniform guidelines for loan modifications, HAFA short sales, and foreclosure prevention. Laurie is the Director of Policy for this office at the Treasury Dept.

Laurie gave us an exclusive in-depth interview on everything from MHA to HAFA short sales. She also goes through the recent changes for 2013 for HAFA and all short sales.

Never before has so much quality content on this subject been released on video. This is great information for all realtors and consumers; please feel free to share this on your sites, social media channels, or wherever you see fit.

Below are provided the interview questions and a summary of what we talked about in each segment.

1. What is the Treasury Departments role when it comes to short sales?
In this segment Laurie talks about the US Treasury’s involvement with housing, and how they created MHA and HAFA.
2. Can you explain to us some of the highlights of the HAFA short sale program?
Laurie explains the main components of HAFA short sales: borrower qualification, standard timelines, deficiency release, how HAFA works when there is a second mortgage, relocation money, and how HAFA has helped the “pre-approval” process.
3. HAFA short sale guidelines have recently changed; can you explain to us what the recent changes are?
Laurie talks about how HAFA has changed the industry as a whole; thereby setting the standard for shortened timelines, relocation money, and pre-approvals. She tells us about the recent HAFA changes which have aligned Treasury and other government sponsored entities such as: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA. As a result, required paperwork has decreased, and payments to lien holders have increased.
4. Tells us a little bit about how commissions are handled on HAFA short sales.
Laurie reveals that she used to be a real estate broker. Her experience provides insight that helps shape policy. For instance, once a commission is set on a transaction the commission cannot be reduced as a condition of short sale approval.
5. Can you escalate to Treasury on a short sale if you are having an issue with a servicer?
Laurie explains to us how you can escalate by using the tool if you are having an issue with a servicer.
6. Does occupancy matter when it comes to HAFA short sales?
Laurie talks about the recent changes in HAFA regarding vacant properties and investment properties.
7. How can agents better help consumers understand the short sale and loan modification process?
Laurie talks about how agents can have better success educating homeowners on this process and how the short sale process offers huge referral opportunities for future business.
8. What are some good resources for struggling homeowners in a possible foreclosure situation?
Laurie talks about some of the resources for agents and homeowners that are offered and funded by the US Treasury. She also talks about scams targeting homeowners.
9. Does the US Treasury offer training and education for real estate agents?
The website offers education and training for realtors, along with the most up-to-date required HAFA documents and guidelines.
10. Are there marketing materials agents could use from the US Treasury to give to struggling homeowners?
Laurie talks about the free marketing material agents can get from MHA’s storefront that can be used for marketing and short sale presentations.

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