Adding Short Sale Buyers to the Deed After Approval
Requests to add or subtract individuals to a deed should never happen after short sale approval, yet it pops up more frequently than you might imagine. If you’re a short sale buyer, this advice is for you. People think because an idea occurred to them, they can make it happen at the last minute, and short sales are rarely in a position to accommodate these sudden changes. I know that short sale buyers don’t see the big deal. But it’s a huge deal. They don’t realize that the short sale bank probably approved only the individual(s) who signed the purchase contract with the seller. Do not try to add short sale buyers to the deed after approval.
The reason is if a short sale buyer wants to change the way she holds title on the deed, it’s almost impossible to do and still close within the required timeframe provided for in the short sale approval letter. One can’t just change from a corporation to husband and wife as joint tenants or from a couple to a sole individual without the short sale bank’s blessing. I had a short sale last month in which originally a husband and wife were holding title, then title changed to the wife as her sole and separate property and, after approval, financing restrictions required we revert. This was a Bank of America short sale and I suspect since the husband was originally noted on the paperwork, the bank was able to approve an additional name at closing without further ado. But this doesn’t happen very often. That was kind of a fluke.
Most of the time the approval letters contain the name of the buyers and, if the those names are altered, the short sale requires a new approval. Some banks make this Sacramento short sale agent start the process over. From the beginning. Because the bank did not approve John and Mary. The bank might have approved only Mary. It’s not as simple as you might think and short sales are not always logical. Not to mention, there is no guarantee that because a short sale was approved first time around that it will be approved a second time around or that the same lender will still be servicing the loan.
There are other complications to adding more short sale buyers to the deed at the last minute. It is possible that the buyer’s lender might not allow it. If Mary is taking title as her sole and separate property while obtaining a new first mortgage, her lender most likely will not let her add her son and daughter to the title without including them on the loan, which may mean they need to financially qualify. If she adds them to the loan after the transaction closes, she could be guilty of alienating title, which could be cause for acceleration: calling the loan due and payable. Moreover, the arms-length agreement Mary signs for the short sale lender might prohibit transfers within a certain numbers of days after closing.
For all of these reasons and more, the time to think about how you want to hold title when buying a short sale is when you sign the purchase contract. Don’t wait for short sale approval before you make up your mind or change it at the last minute because you could be asking for trouble. If you’re gonna do it, write up an addendum before approval is received and submit it with a new HUD during the short sale negotiation process. Please don’t try to add short sale buyers to the deed at the last minute.