Chase Bank Takes It Up a Notch – 30k Short Sale Incentive

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We’ve all heard about the three thousand dollar short sale incentive that is paid to a participant in the HAFA short sale program. It doesn’t matter if the homeowner participates in a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, the homeowner will receive three thousand dollars if they qualify for and participate in the HAFA program.

Perhaps you have also heard about the Bank of America Cooperative Short Sale Program where borrower participants can receive $2500 at closing.

Maybe you have also had short sale sellers who have contacted you because they have received letters from Litton or Wachovia offering between three thousand and five thousand to participate in a short sale.

But, I’ve not seen a bigger incentive this one: thirty thousand dollars from Chase Bank. Yes, that’s right. Thirty thousand dollars!

A local seller who is having trouble making ends meet recently received a letter in the mail from Chase offering thirty thousand dollars as an incentive at closing. Like many other offers and incentives, you do have to read the fine print. The fine print here was on the backside of the letter and stated that the listing agreement must be submitted to the bank prior to May 24, 2011.

Since the seller was extremely skeptical, we contacted Chase to obtain more information and confirmed that the thirty thousand would be paid at closing if (and only if) they had the listing agreement in their hands prior to close of business on May 24th.

Just a few days after this occurred, another real estate agent told me that one of his sellers received an offer of twenty thousand dollars to participate in a short sale.

So, for those of you who believe that the bank would rather foreclose than approve a short sale, wake up. If Chase is willing to pay thirty thousand dollars to a seller to participate in a short sale, there may be something to taking short sale listings after all.

Have anything to say on the matter? Please share your thoughts in the comment box down below.


Photo: flickr creative commons by nono



  1. loretta

    I don’t understand why they would offer that. Does that mean we shouldn’t request a short sale until they contact the Seller, is that when they will offer this. When does this happen before an NOD is recorded?

  2. Obviously this is not to all borrowers, there is some special circustances ( loan, investor, property value,location) what determines the offer of this amount of money, it is out there and the lender is doing its homework to finally understand that it is better to give away 20K, 30K. Istead of waitting 6+ months and at the end the borrower file BK or trash the property.

  3. An associate of mine just closed a short sale listing which netted his seller $20,000 at closing! It was an investment property with an out of state seller. My associate had heard something about this Chase incentive, and contacted them to find out what the criteria was after the transaction was approved and heading towards closing. Chase confirmed that this property would qualify, and awarded the seller a cool $20,000 at closing. Interesting twist, because Chase didn’t contact the seller. the seller’s agent contacted Chase, otherwise the $20,000 would never have been awarded….

  4. Thank you Melissa for keeping industry professionals informed when you discover how the banks change their tactics. I really look forward to your updates. To the people who follow this blog and don’t know Melissa on a business level, she is a true professional and constantly studying information, doing the research to advise with wisdom and understanding.

  5. nancy

    sounds like this is a case by case incentive, which state is this happening in and how can we market these potential short sale sellers, if we are uncertain they can receive such an incentive?

  6. David Booth

    I just closed a Chase short sale today ( 6-22-11 ) with Chase 1st & 2nd. My seller received $35,000 as a “incentive” to sell. I received the short sale approval letter and I could NOT believe my eyes !! I called my negotiator and he said ” it is Christmas in July “. I delivered the check from escrow to my sellers today !

    • What is the name of the program so that I can call for my Chase borrower/short seller? What department do I call? Would my normal negotiator know of this program? Thanks for any help you can give!

      • Melissa Zavala

        This incentive program is investor dependent. So you need to inquire as to whom the investor is on your short sale. Just ask your negotiator.

          • Melissa Zavala

            Bad news. Not for Freddie Mac. You can always call in and ask about future short sales. And, yes, sometimes it is Christmas in summer.

        • Linda Vancuylenburg

          I have a wamu option arm mortage now with Chase, they tell me that the investor is wells fargo, not sure how this can be, I have about 4 hardships in a hardship letter, an unemployed and to get this incentive would change my life as I definately can’t afford to keep the house and of course it is way underwater, be great if you can let me know what my chance of getting some sort of incentive, was just about to call them as I got a letter saying my last chance – 7 days to be in the hamp program and they will take other collection efforts otherwise, I am in Florida.

          Thank you.

          • Melissa Zavala

            Well, if you are being considered for the HAMP program, then I do not believe that your investor participates in this particular incentive program. however it wouldn’t hurt to call and double check.

      • David Booth

        They are very well off ! Did not need or deserve it in any way. B of A is requiring ” seller contribution ” on senior citizens on fixed income, and since they do not have the ability to pay, the sale falls througgh and they untimately foreclose, then Chase pays financially stable people with the ability to pay ( not willingness ) a ” incentive ” to short sale. I don’t know who is right and who is wrong, but nothing is cookie-cutter in this businness !

    • trent

      I’m in FL and would like to short sell my house in order to receive the 20-30K incentive. I’m sure I qualify, due to personal circumstances. How does this process get started??

  7. david

    It nothing you can “ask” for. I received $35,000 and was only informed when the approval letter was received. Just work towards approval and hope for the best. I was told ” it is Christmas in the summer time “. Good luck !!

      • I have a Chase incentive short sale in final negotiation–they have told me to put the $20,000 in the HAFA request for approval statement of expense (mini HUD). Also asked that the HUD-1 reflect the $20,000 as well as the $3000 HAFA incentive. Since this is a HAFA there is no deficiency–but with the new State law in California–none anyway the way I understand it?!

        • Melissa Zavala

          Joe: You cannot get both. You can have the Chase incentive or the HAFA incentive. I’d go for the 20k–since SB 458 provides anti-deficiency protection to our California short sale sellers.

  8. I am the listing agent on a home with the incenstive from Chase. There is a 2nd mortgage on the home as well with GMAC. GMAC read the accetance letter and wants a larger pay off.
    So everyone knows, I was told by Chase that none of incentive money cannot be used for the 2nd lien holder.

    • Dan Evans

      Margie, put on the HUD the 2nds requested amount. Chase told me the most they would do is $6000 towards the jr. lienholder. Thats what we ended up getting. Better than nothing!

  9. Brenda

    We just rcvd our incentive check after the short sale. While we are thrilled, were wondering is this taxable? Will the government want 50%? We’re afraid to deposit/cash it for fear whatever we spend they will want it back in taxes.

    • Melissa Zavala

      You should definitely check with an accountant. Since the deal closed and you agreed to accept the terms of the deal (including the incentive), I’d imagine that it would be taxable–whether you cash it or not.

      • David in Pasadena

        I attended a Chase Short sale forum, and I ask specificially if this ” incentive ” is taxable, and the regional represenative from Chase could not answer me …. can you believe this ?? She provided me her email and asked me to email her and she would look into it and get back to me. 2 emails and 2 weeks later, still no repy :( I just left her a voice mail also. Once I receive an ” official reply ” from Chase on this incentive taxable matter, I will share immediately. Hang in there !!

  10. norbert

    dear melissa or others in the “know”

    I have a few props… my world continues to implode i need a plan and soon….
    some props are leveraged with first and second mortages… in one case a prop has the prime w chase the 2nd w wacho/wells….

    have you run across a situation where BOTH entites offer “incentives”? just curious as i’ve read both banks doing it. wondering whether that could be played out…..before i start calling…..

    or does the primary only do the offering as they control the final “sale” be it short or a sheriffs?


    PS over the years your site has been helpful

  11. elizabeth east bay area

    My business partner was able to get an approval in 7 days from Chase but also was able to get our client 30K back as an incentive. We had two loans both from Chase and the second received nothing. We closed in 1 month and a week from the time we received the offer. This was the shortest short sale thus far. We are still pinching ourselves that Chase actually moved this fast and our client was ecstatic to say the least.

  12. David in Pasadena

    Congratulations Elizabeth ! That time frame has got to be some sort of record 😉 One question … did you business partner ” get your client ” the incentive ( ask and negotiate in some way ? ), or did it just show up on the approval letter out of the blue ?

  13. Robin Bergman

    I have a 1st and a 2nd with chase, and the property is in California. My renters have gone bad, and I don’t think it’s worth keepping as a rental. What is the best way to go about getting rid of property. Do I stop payments, and move towards forelosure, or do I contact the bank and tell them I want to short sell? What would give me the most leverage? Do I have my relator be the nogotiator, or do I hire an someone else? Thanks for any replies.


    • Melissa Zavala

      If you have listed the property for sale with a real estate agent who has listed many, many short sales, then I would follow your agent’s lead. Many agents have loads of experience with short sales and use our short sale negotiation services because they find it to be very effective. Others prefer to handle the negotiations themselves. So it’s a good idea to look into the past experience of any agent that you plan to hire to list your home. Contact our office directly and we can put you in touch with a short sale agent in your area.

  14. Mel

    I have a question I just closed a short sale with Chase. The homeowner qualified for Hafa 3,000 total forgiveness and he also received the incentive from Chase 10,000. But someone jsut mention to me and the bank is not supposed to give both because with HAFA the homeowner is not allowed to received any money from the bank proceeds. But if the bank approved it then he should have no problems in the future?

    I will appreciate any feedback

    Thank you

    • Melissa Zavala

      Mel: You bring up a great point. While the incentive programs were never intended to encourage ‘double dipping,’ it does happen. However, since all HUD-1s are approved by the short sale lenders one last time before close of escrow, then it seems that you would be fine. As David also states, the HAFA money is technically a ‘slush fund’ which is why some short sale sellers may be able to take advantage of the extra incentives.

  15. David in Pasadena

    I believe you may be thinking of Arms
    Length verbiage ” Shall not receive any proceeds from the “SALE” of the property ?. This $10,000 “incentive” is instituted from the lien holder, not HAFA. This “incentive” was not on the HUD, so it does NOT come from the sale proceeds ….. it is a ” slush fund” if you will from the lien holders themselves, so its their money and they can do whatever they want 😉 Please inform your sellers they will receive a 1099 M next February, so they are not shocked. Best to place $4,000 in a savings account for this tax bill 😉 Hope this helps 😉

  16. Ben Benton

    I have processed over 15 Short Sales through REO Prep the past 6 months. These were all through Chase. The incentive varies from property/investor to the next, I have seen 10K up to 30K. To be honest I think its crazy that this is happening and it may only cause strategic short sale planning but when I have listings handed to me I guess I cant complain.

    • Melissa Zavala

      Bank of America has also begun to add these incentives in Florida. So, we are being told that they may be headed to California in the near future. Hard to believe, huh? Glad to hear that short sales are keeping you busy!

  17. Angela Foley

    With a Chase short sale, how long should we expect from the verbal approval until we get the written approval? Chase has set a closing date of Nov. 21st and it’s already Oct. 24? Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I represent the buyer. The seller’s agent said he called the negotiator and she said, ‘Wait.” I don’t know what that means. Thanks!!

    • Melissa Zavala

      Usually, it takes under a week for the final written approval. However, I have seen times when it has taken much longer and then you have to go back and ask for an extension on the closing date. (It actually sounds like you may have to do that, but just wait until you obtain the approval letter first.)

  18. oscar

    i am waiting on escrow to close on my approved short sale, thru chase bank, i just heard about this incentive bonus, i asked my realtor to inquire with negotiator about qualifications, i believe im in-titled to such incentive, negotiator called my realtor today 10-26-11 and told her she doesnt know about how its determined or , who at chase determines it, is this b/s ? how do i confirm this info, and does anybody know what are the guidlines if any, and who do i talk too? can anybody point me in right direction please…

    • Melissa Zavala

      In my experience, they are probably not “b/s-ing” you. It’s possible that the person who processes short sales for Chase (for your particular investor noteholder) is not familiar with the program because s/he does not handle those kind of loans. Have you called the general toll free nuber to inquire? (This is investor-specific; there is not a person at Chase that selects people at random.) Hope that helps.

  19. Hello!
    Could you help us clarify the difference between requeritments for the Short Sale Incentive. Our realtor told us that we qualifiy for the $3,000, but not for the 20,000. What is the diference between both programs in orden to qualify? We already have an offer in (the amount setup by the bank), just waiting for the bank final papers to close the house. What department work with this particular program in the bank? We have Wells Fargo! Are they participating in this big incentive?
    Please let us know.
    Thank you!

    • Melissa Zavala

      Your loan is with Wells Fargo. The larger incentive programs are not thru Wells Fargo right now. You MAY qualify for HAFA, the government program. If you do, you will get 3k at closing. Wells Fargo participates in HAFA–but not for all loans.

  20. Help Please!

    Are the FHA loan qualifies for the 3k at closing? Today my realtor told me that the Loan Adjustor from Well Fargo said that FHA loans are not eligible for the HAFA program.
    Can you help me out?

  21. Carol

    Hi Melissa… thanks for the great information… I wish I had a Chase mortgage with the right investor! A friend in NM got $20K from Chase this past July… and she was shocked. She had walked away from the home in 2008.

    Unfortunately, BofA is my servicer and Fannie Mae owns my loan. I read last month (as you posted above) that BofA is doing a trial cash incentive program in FL starting in Nov and ending in January 2012, with payouts between $5K and 20K… and that if it’s “successful” (don’t know the defintion of success to them.. I guess if enough people do it) they will roll out the program to other states.

    Have you heard any more about BofA’s program? I am quite interested in this as I have put so much into my house, but have just lost my job and in there are no other jobs in my field in the area. I would love to recoup something as an incentive in a short sale.

    Thanks much.

  22. Mel

    I am a builder in IL and we are buying back a condo in our building, the short sale lender is Chase and they are giving the seller $20,000. and they ARE placing this on the HUD1. Why would the bank offer to do this? The seller does not live in the property, how is this even possible?

    • Melissa Zavala

      Generally, they do this because they realize the cost of foreclosure, marketing the property, and preparing for a resale, will far outweigh the 20k. Thanks for stopping by our blog!

    • David Booth

      If they place this incentive on the HUD, that is GREAT ! It now becomes part of the closing costs and firgiven debt. If NOT obn the HUD, the seller receives a1099M as taxable income.

  23. Carole Nelson

    I heard that Wells Fargo and Chase have given seller’s at closing as much as $20,000 -$30,000 on short sales, crazy. I have one closing next month and it is not one of these banks, let’s see what see gets. I think Bank America was also one.

  24. Brian

    I am currently in the process of a short sale with Chase in AZ. We are also a no-deficiency state. However, not only am not getting $20k, I received my approval letter and was told that I would have to sign a note for $22,000 to the “investor”. Have you heard of this?

  25. Brian

    Hi Melissa,
    I should have specified in my previous post that the promissory note is from MGIC. I never had mortgage insurance on my mortgage. Also, if I sign this note and the loan does not close for some reason I am afraid I am still on the hook for the $22,000.
    I look forward to your response.
    Thank you,

    • Melissa Zavala

      Generally, the MI companies can be very difficult. If you do not agree to their terms, than they can force the short sale to become a foreclosure. You may want to speak with an attorney and find out what kind of remedies you might have after closing in order to avoid paying this 22k debt.

  26. Brian

    Thanks Melissa. As I do not have mortgage insurance does this mean that MGIC is the “investor”?
    You’re absolutely right about the attorney I have an appointment Thur. Have you heard of cases where sellers can get out of paying this debt?
    Thank you for your valuable time,

  27. Carole Nelson

    my seller was with bank of america they had just sold to greentree and they pay nothing:(

    with the money they get they can buy another house through the lender:)

  28. Peter,

    Hi Melissa and Readers,
    We received such a letter and the incentive was $30,000. Chase gave us a list of realtors who would help us put our house on the short sale market.
    I told the realtor about the letter and sent it to him. He did transfer to his sales manager who stated he received it. Periodically we inquired about the incentive. Everthing was supposed to have been taken care of.
    At closing, we asked again. The sales manager said he needed to check with his negociator The negociator was absent and absent again, finally, the negociator replied to the sales manager (not to us) that the Bank advised that it had no more money. Quite difficult to believe… I called Chase who said that the money should come out of the proceeds. We called again and again and finally were told that the real estate people did not do what they were supposed to do, though they let us believe that they took care of everything.
    Can anyone give me any advice or refer me to an attorney. We would very much appreciate.
    Thanks for your time.
    Peter (1/5/2012)

    • Melissa Zavala

      That is such a shame. I’m not quite sure what your recourse would be. If you are in California, I would start with the agent’s broker, and then move up from there–as needed. The incentive is always on the final settlement statement and is paid to the seller at the closing table. As to whom exactly dropped the ball, without all the details, it would be tough to point fingers. I’m so sorry to hear that this happened to you.

  29. celvy

    We received the short sale approval from Chase and did stated that we are going to receive the incentive check of 35k. Our 2nd mortgage is with Bank of America bought out by Real Time Sol., now they’re asking us to pay them 38k before they can release all liens? Otherwise, the house will go on forclosure. Cannot believe that the 2nd mortgage will take all the money that Chase will give us. Is this legal? Please advise. Thank You.

    • Melissa Zavala

      Hhmmm. that’s a tough one. I cannot really speak to what is legal and what isn’t, since we are not attorneys. Of course, short sale is a form of debt settlement, and Realtime does not have to agree to a short sale if they do not want to. In California, SB 458 will protect a short sale seller from deficiency if the seller participates in a short sale. Are you in California? Maybe Realtime knows that they have no recourse, and have decided that this would be their best course of action. That’s a bummer. 35k could put a kid through public university in California. That’s a lot of money!

        • Matt Greenberg

          I think they changed the HAFA requirements—now non-owner buildings are OK.

          I recently purchased a short sale property in Chicago. Chase gave the owner a $45,000 incentive payment and he got the $3,000 HAFA payment too.

          What a country—he collected $3000 per month rent for years without paying a nickel in mortgage. Then he gets $48,000! I held my nose while signing the documents, but I got a great deal.

          • Melissa Zavala

            Wow. That’s a big incentive. Sounds like you got a good deal. Thanks for sharing and visiting the blog!

  30. Kay

    My husband is 100 % disabled veteran from combat. We acquired our loan in 1/2007 and he was awarded his disability May, 2009. He has had a transplant and it failed and this was all documented in our chase hardship letter. I was unemployed from 2/2007 5/11/2011. My husband is a partner in a business and the by laws prevent him from providing partnership P&L. However we have turned over all filed income taxes and bank statements. Chase declined a short sale with a back up offer that matched the comps in the neighborhood. Why would they decline two offers and close the file over a business p&l that does not reflect our ability to pay for our home that is now vacant? They have clear evidence of our medical costs, a formal letter designating his proven disability and my past unemployment. We tried to keep up until 8/2010 and we finally gave up feeling drained which is when we listed the house as a short sale. What would cause chase to close the file and move to foreclosure?

    • Melissa Zavala

      Kay: That’s a tough story to hear. I’m not certain as to why your short sale wasn’t approved, and it sounds like I might be missing a few details. We have very good luck with Chase Bank, although sometimes we do have to push our cases to the executive offices. There are so many additional questions I’d like to ask–maybe off the blog.

      • Kay

        We question the negotiator our realtor brought on to help. He repeatedly requested documents we already provided and in some cases lost documentation. I am not entirely confident he was diligently following up. Although we provided authorization for this gentleman to communicate relating to our file, we received a letter from Chase directly that the file was closed “due to missing documentation”. Chase did not identify what was missing which leaves us a bit surprised and I can only guess it was the P&l we explained could not be delivered.

  31. David

    Hi Kay, If all the documentation is not received, they will close the file. A P&L for 1099 employees is required. if 2 – 3 weeks goes by after the negotiator is requested to provide, they will close the file.

  32. Keith Stanton

    Hello Melissa and to everyone reading,

    I am very interested in the short sale incentive. I live on the outskirts of Chicago. Any advice to get started. I have had NO luck with obtaining information from Chase. I’ve even talked to the Attorney General regarding the recent settlement with the top banks; such as Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, etc.., but no luck.
    I would shortsale for at least 25k. I’ve been in foreclosure for three years. I’ve gone through a modification and was approved. Chase was requiring me to pay a loan amount of 300k over a period of 40 years. However, my home was appraised at 105k. Chase rejected my request for a principle reduction. And I declined the modification agreement.

    Any suggestions/advice to complete a shortsale and receive 25k or more.

    Thanking you for your time and consideration in this matter.

    • Melissa Zavala

      Okay, so here’s the deal. Obviously in the last week or so, the Chase incentive has gotten some big p.r. due to the Bloomberg News article and a few wannabe articles on the same topic. The humongous incentive offered by Chase (Citi and SPS, too) has nothing to do with the AG settlement. And, unfortunately, as much as you try to get information about the details, it’s gonna be tough to get the straight dope out of Chase.

      As far as I can tell (and we’ve closed 10 or 20 of these), it seems to be investor dependent (remember that Chase is a servicer for multiple investors). Certain investors have guidelines that allow for specific things (such as an incentive or payment of pest control, property taxes, etc). In a way, it is not going to be something that can be extracted from Chase by some super savvy negotiator or real estate agent. If the borrower’s loan meets the guidelines, the borrower will get the money. If the loan does not, then the borrower will not get the cash.

      How do you know if your loan meets the guidelines? Well, you can borrow my Magic 8-Ball, or you can submit your short sale file and the Chase employee who finally gets to process your short sale will let you know. Short of that, it may be tough to get the answers that you want. Hope that helps!

      • David

        Hi Melissa, The reporter for Bloomberg actually contacted me and interviewed me for that article, I believe because of this blog. I looked all over for the article and was not able to find it ;( Can you let me know where I can view this ? Much appreciated 😉

        • Melissa Zavala

          Yes, I was also interviewed for the article (which was quite lengthy). The reporter was Prashant Gopal; you could probably Google his name at Bloomberg and find the article.

      • Kimberly


        What are the current short sale incentive programs with Chase as the servicer and US Bank as the investor? We are have a preliminary offer for “Cash for keys” in the amount of $5K but thought that was a foreclosure program. Our relationship manager at Chase does not seem to know anything about what US Bank has in terms of programs for moving assistance or incentives.

        Thanks for your help.

        • Melissa Zavala

          You are correct. “Cash for Keys” is a phrase that generally indicates a foreclosure. “Relocation assistance” and a “moving incentive” are short sale terms. We’ve done many HHAFA short sales at US Bank. But, I am unclear as to why the Chase employee is not able to articulate your options or where you are in the process. Maybe you should speak to a supervisor.

  33. Jim

    I am involved in a short sale also with Chase and there is a second lien holder on the loan with Chase being the primary holder. Chase is offering 10k to me at the signing of the sale which is great. Since Chase was the primary holder, they determined the amounts they would take and how much they would give the second lien holder. When the second lien hold heard about the Chase incentive, the refused Chases amount and said they required more or they would refuse the deal. So I am forced to either let it foreclose or agree to let the second lien holder take the incentive.
    Is this legal?

    • Melissa Zavala

      Not being an attorney, it would be difficult for me to say. However, it does stink like something rotten, doesn’t it? We had some situations like this one (not many), but I’ve never seen the lien holder attempt to take the whole amount. :-(

  34. David

    No bank is ” obligated ” to accept a short sale, and if they do they have every legal right to request any amount of funds to ” settle the debt “. If this money can be used to obtain an Approval Letter, then give it to them ( 2nd lien ) . You probably lived in the home for 9 months or so for free, and not paying property taxes, so consider this the cost of living and don’t think you ” deserve” this money…..

  35. Jim

    Thanks for your feedback Melissa and David. I realize banks are not obligated to accept short sales and understand the banks objectives. My issue is I put more than 50k into this home including down payment and repairs. It was a rental throughout my ownership so I never lived in it for free. Banks don’t take that into consideration. So “yes” I do feel I deserve this money.

    • Gia

      Hi Jim, an often overlooked & ignored provision of SB 458 prohibits a lender from demanding a seller contribution as a condition of short sale approval. Im not sure if this law applies to the first lien holder only or to the second as well. It might be something you wanna research or talk to an attorney about, as you mentioned you are dealing with a 2nd lien holder. Many attorneys will not charge to have one simple question answered.

      • Jim

        Thanks Gia

        I was able to get around my problem by taking the incentive outside of the HUD (As suggested by Chase). It was still a lose but better than none at all.

  36. Susanne

    Well, I am in the process of loosing my home and tried everything I could with Chase, I had listed for sale with an amount requested by Chase, which was too high and no offers. I was approved for the HAFA program. Now they told me that my Realtor should set the price and I have a cash offer which is about 10000 above the asking price. I had 25 showings and was allowed to send in to the short sale department one offer, just to find out I am not qualifing for the HAFA program anymore as it took more than 120 days for the sales contract. I was told when I asked for any other programs that they have nothing else and they will pay nothing to me and my son. I could use some help as I am unemployed (with no unemployment income anymore) and a 3year old which will have no roof over his had. I need money to get a place for first – last and security, moving expenses etc. My lender is Chase but the investor is US Bank. HELP PLEASE

  37. william B. Smith, DVM

    Chase Bank, Rep Brad Kippel, will not respond to a realtor making a counter offer for us on a short sale. The seller is a wounded warrior that has retired and can no longer make bthe payments. I cannot believe the uncaring attitude of this man (organization). I plan to close my Chase accounts. The difference between their atrocious price and our first offer was only $17,000. House is located in a dying subdivision 12 miles from town. We raised our offer to only $11,000 difference and they have elected NO RESPONSE TO REALTOR,

    • Brian

      Having just completed this process I know that a Chase purchased mortgage insurance on pools of loans. So, like myself, even if one did not have mortgage insurance on their mortgage when they closed escrow, they do now.
      Therefore, it is more profitable for Chase to foreclose, take the house back, sell it themselves and file a claim with the mortgage insurance company. I know this because the mortgage insurance company contacted me directly after my short sale finally closed after 2 years of headaches and a $22K promissory note to the bank.
      Thanks Obama for writing a trillion dollar blank check to the banks so they could do whatever they want!

      • Gia

        Seriously!!! I wonder if the mortgage insurance companies are wise to what Chase is doing? You would think that if they were, they would catergorize this practice as fraud. But who knows, theyre probablygetting some kind of incentive from god-knows-who to continue to turn a blind eye!

  38. Jaime

    A great way to avoid the issue is dispute their price by having an appraisal done. Chase wants to sell the property via short sale but their fiduciary duty is to the investor that holds the note. Chase has researched what the value of the property is by either appraisal or BPO. If their opinion is $17K higher…and you come back with only $11K…they make a calculated assessment as to whether or not to accept less or hold out for more. It could be that their value on the property is actually $25K higher and the $17K is within the acceptable percentage outlined by the investor. Your agent can dispute the price by providing an independent BPO or pay for an appraisal to justify the lower price. Otherwise, if you are just looking for that “deal”, there’s no obligation for them to sell it for under market value.

  39. Troy Brown

    So Chase offered us the 20K incentive for a short sale in Indianapolis. I didn’t think it was true so I sat on it for about a month before contacting them and finding out it was legit. Had to call that division though to check it out, and had my bank manager friend at Chase also check it out. Once I discovered it was legit,we submitted the short sale package, and dropped the price to stir up more buzz on our property. Dropped 24% from original listing total . Our realtor has been in contact with our negotiator. Just today, however, I received the court filing for a foreclosure. We have a few people that are trying to get approved to buy our place on a short sale, and one said they will put in an offer within the week. Obviously, I want to get the short sale done, get the incentive, and be done with this property. (I was relocated long distance by my company and can’t afford to keep it). So, any advice? Do I submit a written response to the court letter, notify my agent, notify the negotiator, a lawyer, or all the above? I’m just concerned they will try to foreclose before we can get the offer and close, and I’m left with no incentive. Does a sheriffs sale count as a short sale? Any advice is appreciated! Thanks!

    • Troy

      Update: Spoke with them today, they gave us another 4 months to try to complete the short sale. Incentive still in place. I’d like to offer the buyer a piece of our incentive as an incentive to buy. Is that common or even allowed?

    • Lastest short sale that closed with Chase didn’t offer any incentive and took 1 year to close. Fortunately the buyers held on through the entire process. I find it a challange mentioning to sellers up front they may be eligible for money at closing. It becomes expected and leads to dissapointment in this particular case. Should sellers really be getting paid to be upside down on their properties?

      • Melissa Zavala

        Many people definitely see the irony of people being paid big bucks to short sale their homes. I had a seller last year that got 40k–enough to buy a new car or for 4 years of state college. Definitely it is a dual edged sword!

  40. Richard

    So Chase who is the firts mortgage lender offers us an incentive of 30K for a shortsale. They in turn offer the second mortgage 10% of the balance which comes out to 3800.00. (38K)
    The second mortgage lender (collections agent) receives the HUD and finds that we are receiving this incentive and now refuses to accept less that 25K. The second morgage collections agent “Tessa” with SLS tells me that there is no way that she will let us walk away with this incentive when they haven’t received payment since 2009. She actually says that she’d rather see us resctructure the agreement and take off the incentintive than for us to walk away with the incentive….Chase then says that they will not go a penny above 10%. I’m caught right in the middle. Chase will NOT offer more than 10% and SLS will NOT accept less than 25K.
    We are being hardballed by Tessa at SLS. She will NOT accept any offer below 20K from the incentive. I even offered to borrow an additional 5K from a friend to add to the 3800.00 being offered by Chase but she explicitly refused and said that she will only accept 20K from the 35K Chase incentive. We only have 5 days left on the offer from chase……
    Any advise?

    • Melissa Zavala

      That’s a tough one. It is not uncommon for others to contribute to the second in this situation. Just make sure that everyone is on the HUD-1 for Chase to approve.

    • Jim


      Sorry for the late response. We had an identical situation and were told that if we wrote to Chase (via email), stating we would accept the incentive after the closing, they would do that and it would be removed from the HUD. Try this out. If the second lien holder does not see a incentive on the HUD, they ar more willing to accept what the first lien holder offers. Even if you have to give some money out of your pocket, it’s worth it. Fortunately we did not need to do that and we recieved our incentive funds on the day of closing.


  41. Phil

    Hi Hi Melissa Zavala,

    We have gone through the nightmare of trying to get a loan modification with Chase bank and our loan modification came back higher than what we were paying on current mortgage.
    We decided to short sale after having a financial hardship. The agent who represented us told us we were eligible for HAFA program.
    We never had a 2nd on the house after month of back and forth haggling with Chase the agent and Chase said that the lender who is now in control of the loan said that we are not eligible for the $3K .
    They now (agent) and want to hurry us now after months of waiting for the short sale to process to sign paperwork to close the deal.

    Is there any legal recourse we can pursue for them telling us right before closing that we are now not eligible for the $3k for relocation expenses as part of the HAFA project .

    Should we even sign or seek another agent ?

    Any advise ?

      • Melissa Zavala

        Did your loan qualify for HAFA at the outset? Or is it possible that the investor noteholder does not participate in the program? Unfortunately, not all do.

    • Melissa Zavala

      That’s a good question. It is hard for agents to guarantee that a borrower qualifies for a specific program, such as HAFA, since agents are not privy to information that the banks have with connection to the investor guidelines on the notes. It always helps to work with agents that are familiar with all of the different programs available to distressed borrowers. Should you get another agent? I guess that if you do not feel comfortable that you are getting the best representation available then you should probably explore options.

  42. L. M. King


    My agent, for property in MS, was told at the beginning of the short sale process that we qualified for the Chase incentive and that the amount would be between $25K & $30K. We never received anything in writing but were not concerned because the agent, extremely knowledgable about short sales, had another Chase client who closed and who had never received anything in writing but received the incentive of $25K at closing. My closing is fast approaching and the closer/negotiator just told my agent that we cannot have the incentive.
    When asked how it is determined who receives the incentive, the Chase agent said they randomly select them. I know this cannot be true. Chase has approved the short sale and the letter was forwarded via the real estate agent to us.

    I am trying to correspond by e-mail, fax, US Mail, etc., to the Executive Offices of Chase. I am on the internet trying to locate this info but cannot find. You mentioned in your blog that on occasion you have had to contact these offices. Would you or anyone else, who may know, forward the persons name, along with pertinent contact info so that I can use immediately. My closing is set for 8-6 and I need someone with authority to insure that we receive the incentive as promised.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Melissa Zavala

      While I generally agree with David, I do feel the need to interject. Chase does send out letters encouraging certain borrowers to participate in a short sale and offering the incentive in writing at the beginning IF and only IF the property is listed by a certain date (specified in the letter) and the listing agreement is in the Chase system prior to that date. However, other sellers learn of the incentive later in the transaction (like when the agent talks to the negotiator on the phone).

      How you should deal with Chase to attempt to get yourself out of this pickle–you may want to try twitter. All the major lenders are doing their best to keep their social media sites free of unhappy campers, and lots of folks have had good lick with twitter. I cannot recall their twitter account, but I know I wrote an article about this for my column on Agent Genius. Maybe you can find it there. Good luck!

  43. David Booth

    Who ever told you ” at the beginning ” is where the problem began. The Chase closers do not even know until just before the Approval Letter is typed up. This has been my experience and I have closed 4 with Chase incentives. Sorry about that …………

  44. Hello I received a letter from chase for 14 k if I signed the house over to them. So I did this, this was back in may and the offer was good till june 1, 2012. Every week they mail me a letter that says: We are writing in response to your recent request for a deed-in-lieu we are reviewing your request and will send you our decision in writing soon. I live in Pennsylvania. I called them and asked about these letters and get different answers every time I call. They say I will still get the 14 k after the deed-in-lieu are approved and the house sells. Does this make any sense at all?

    • Melissa Zavala

      While I am unfamiliar with the laws in your state, it would seem that on the date that the property was recorded with the lender as owner, you should receive the funds. What does the documentation say as to when you would get payment?

  45. Mitch

    I think this may have been asked before but I am still unsure…. I received both a Chase incentive ($20000) and HAFA ($3000). It is listed on the HUD-1 and basically reduced the amount of money that Chase received in the sale. Will I get a 1099 M on the $23000 for this year (the sale was in AZ in Feb 2012)? We have the anti-deficiency laws and in addition, the home was covered in a bankruptcy in 2009 & we didn’t reaffirm, so I don’t think that we have to worry about the deficiency part, just the incentive. Thanks for your help!

  46. Lynn Roble

    Hi! We put our house listed in December 2011, and finally sold it in April 2012. We applied on HAFA for $3k so we’re expecting it but before the closing, our agent called us that we’re getting 30K incentive from Chase. That one was really unexpected and Thank God for such blessing. We’re really sad that time giving up the house but indeed God doesn’t allow things to happen without a purpose.. but my question is :) is the 33k incentive that we received taxable? Thank you for your time..

  47. larry

    our 2 homes are with chase. One is going thru chase for refi is a rental. Our current home is 417 loan and value 400, Main issue is escrow shortages have drive our payments up almost 300 per month. so 46% of income goes to payment. Chase has not been able to tell us why shortages..Can’t keep up wife laid off on part time job. Question in Calif is can we ask for a short sale with only 17k upside down? Of course we do not have the clsosing cost of 24k so is this also considered part of upside down or? our loan is not freddi or fannie. Our loan is interwst only now almost 5 yrs old. Eligable for 20k incentive? Thanks

  48. will

    I’m considering stoping making payments just for the heck of it. I could save on average $26000.00 a year by doing so. The mortgage is in my wife’s name . I could. Buy a big safe and keep all our money in a safe. All the while the bank would never know I still have money. wife could have her clients make their checks out to me or some new. LLC. I’ve heard it taking the bank 3 or more years to foreclose. If so I could have about $780000.00. Saved. This could put me in the green for the rest of my life.

  49. larry

    chase approved our short sale yetserday. We are opening escrow on Monday 1/7/13. How long does a short sale escorw normally take. Outr buyer is the agent, bank and owner all in one basixcally an investor. he is doing coventional loan and has down payment monies ready..

    • Melissa Zavala

      There is a “close by” date on the short sale approval letter, and the buyer can close anytime before then. Buyer and seller need to agree on the close date. Hope that helps!

  50. Beth

    Hi, I have received 1099 – C for my mortgage debt forgiveness but I havent received on for my $3,000 HAFA moving reimbursement. Is this taxable and should I wait longer to receive the 1099???

    • Melissa Zavala

      It is taxable, but it would be hard for me to know whether the bank will be sending one. All 1099s are supposed to be mailed by 1/31, so I would wait a week or two before doing your taxes. Don’t forget to mention this to your accountant!


  1. […] Chase Bank, however, is offering some financial independence on certain short sales. Our office just closed one short sale where Chase Bank paid $20,000 to the seller as a short sale incentive at close of escrow (and the sales price on the property was under $200,000). Talk about fireworks! This short sale seller was so happy that she would now be back on her feet and moving in the right direction. And, that’s not the half of it. We actually have short sales in the pipeline where the incentive is as high as $35,000. […]

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