Federal “Cash for Keys” Prevents Owner Backlash
You might think that after people have saved to buy a home and sacrificed to stay in it that they would remain protective of it until the end. Some owners do not want to leave so they stay until they are evicted at additional cost to the bank. However, as evidenced by the condition of bank owned homes, many former owners are all too willing to lash out at the bank by damaging the home so badly that it costs thousands to restore it to livable condition. For banks, already on the losing end of many mortgages, the losses do not stop when the court returns the home to them. In this age of TARP and rampant credit card interest rates, your initial reaction toward bank losses might be, “Oh, boo hoo,” but few would agree that its “right” that the bank assets are destroyed.
To prevent these types of losses, many banks throughout the country have started to offer owners or even tenants “cash for keys,” a cash payment in exchange for vacating the property within a certain number of days and leaving it in good condition. Typically, the bank will offer $500 or more on the condition that the terms are met. The idea is that the money will to be used for expenses such as security deposits, movers, rental trucks, utility deposits, and temporary living expenses. This money, though hardly adequate to resettle a displaced family, at least offers some help and incentive to move out and move on without leaving the house in shambles.
Cash for keys was an unpublicized bank program for many years, available only to those who asked. Now, banks are more forthright about offering it to people. Banks have found this is cost-effective, compared to eviction court fees or repair costs. Though cash for keys is intended to be a win-win proposition, the reaction of recipients is mixed. Glad to get something, many people feel that the small amount offered is hardly enough to help them transition to a new home, much less dull their pain. Without threatening, owner or tenants can certainly negotiate for a more helpful amount.
Recently, in the latest revision of the Making Home Affordable program, the Treasury Department offers $1,500 cash to homeowners to move on and $1,000 to loan servicers if they forgive mortgage debt. This is basically a cash for keys approach to a problem, which should help homeowners and help banks to regain property is salable condition.
There is a simpler way to get help to move on without foreclosure. Express Homebuyers will buy your home on the spot and offer you a cash advance of $2,500 to aid your moving and resettlement. Rather than dragging out your situation, we will also get your deal done within two weeks through our simple five-step process.
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