BofA short sale program doles out $12,000 to distressed Florida homeowners

April 16, 2012 04:30PM

Florida Association of Realtors President Summer Greene

Bank of America has paid an average of $12,000 to the 678 Florida homeowners who participated in its short sale program, Palm Beach Post reported. The program was launched in October and targeted 20,000 distressed Florida homeowners, in hopes of convincing them to opt for a short sale rather than endure the state’s prolonged foreclosure process, which increases costs for banks. BofA said it was excited about the initial results, and more payouts are anticipated as the contracted short sales continue to close.

But Florida real estate agents and attorneys said confusion over who qualifies for the payouts, and how much the payouts would ultimately be worth, mitigated the success of the program. One attorney complained they have “general guidelines but nothing specific.”

While the submission period for the program has ended, the Palm Beach Post said BofA is taking a new initiative to help spur short sales, by launching a new computer program next weekend that could cut the short sale time frame to as little as 20 days.

“Any steps that major lenders such as Bank of America take to speed short sales serve to strengthen the ongoing real estate recovery,” said Florida Association of Realtors President Summer Greene. [Palm Beach Post]