Banks give money for keeping a foreclosed house looking good

Nov 1, 2011

Some banks will pay you if you keep your foreclosed house in good condition. That includes things like  mowing your lawn and keeping your toilets and countertops spick and span.

Seattle-area Real Estate Appraiser and educator Richard Hagar tells KPLU's John Maynard that some lenders offer in the neighborhood of $2,000.00 to ex-homeowners  for keeping foreclosed property looking neat and tidy. 

Although not widespread, Hagar says it's worth checking into these "incentive programs" with individual lenders. Bank of America is one of the banks that has offered incentives to delinquent borrowers. But more common, he says, are government sponsored programs such as HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program).

"That federal program provides borrowers who are going through a foreclosure with a variety of financial incentives including $3,000 for relocation assistance, as well as  favorable terms on short sales (selling property for less than the amount of the mortgage)."

Other foreclosure assistance programs include The Washington State Foreclosure Fairness Act Mediation Program which is designed to help the borrower and the lender reach a fair, voluntary and negotiated agreement.

And if you think you might be a victim of a foreclosure rescue scam or loan modification fraud, Hagar encourages borrowers to file a complaint with the Washington Attorney General's Office or the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.

Street Cents” is a monthly feature exploring real estate trends in the Northwest. The feature is published here and airs on KPLU 88.5 on the first Tuesday of the month during Morning Edition, All Things Considered and on Weekend Saturday Edition.