Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) proposed a bill addressing the issue of short sales timelines on Feb. 17.
The legislation, also known as the Prompt Notification of Short Sale Act, will require a written response from a lender no later than 75 days after receipt of the written request from the buyer.
The lender’s response to the buyer must specify acceptance, rejection, a counter offer, need for extension, and an estimation for when a decision will be reached. The servicer will be limited to one extension of no more than 21 days.
The bill will also allow the buyer to be awarded $1000, plus “reasonable” attorney fees if the Act is violated.
In April 2011, a similar bill was introduced by Reps. Tom Rooney (R-Florida) and Robert Andrews (D-New Jersey), but this version requested a response deadline of 45 days instead of 75 from lenders. The legislation never came up for debate before a House committee.