If you’re looking for another incentive to sell short, Chase Bank may have what you’re looking for. Word is out that Chase is offering up to $35,000 to homeowners whose mortgages are underwater – provided they meet a few key requirements.
First, the property must be truly underwater – meaning that the house is currently worth less than whatever the homeowner still owes on the mortgage.
Second, only homeowners who initiated their mortgage with now-defunct Washington Mutual are qualified.
Third, even if you meet the first two qualifications, the size of your “incentive” is depends on the size of your loan. Mortgage-holders who have tried to take advantage of the deal report that it’s non-negotiable – Chase decides what you get and that’s it.
Still, for those who do qualify, this is a seemingly-golden opportunity to get out of your underwater mortgage with a bit more cash/dignity.
Why is Chase doing this? Well, it makes financial sense. In the case of most underwater properties, even $30K is nothing compared to what Chase stands to lose if the property goes into foreclosure.
It will be interesting to see how many people are able to take advantage of the offer, and whether it has any impact on the rate of foreclosures in areas where Washington Mutual was a prevalent mortgage-holder.