Mortgages — The Rental Alternative to Foreclosure - NYTimes.com:
Deed for lease programs:
The main problem, as with all foreclosure alternatives, is whether an applicant qualifies. As acknowledged by Andrew Wilson, a spokesman for Fannie Mae, the agency’s “Deed-for-Lease,” or D4L, option has not been widely utilized.
Applicants may not be more than 11 payments past due on their mortgage, and must be able to pay fair-market rent without spending more than 31 percent of their gross income. Properties with second mortgages are ineligible, as are properties in areas where zoning or homeowners’ associations prohibit rentals. The condition of the property is also a factor.
“I’m surprised they didn’t include a requirement that you give your firstborn,” said John Taylor, the president and chief executive of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. “They should come back with something that’s not as restrictive.”
It is interesting that the federal government was so quick and generous with relief for the banks when their own crazy investment practices crashed the financial sector, the housing sector, and the economy, but when it is the banks' turn to extend some relief to homeowners. In this case, it is just a matter of the owner handing over the keys and becoming a renter for a few years. But even here the banks have to make people jump through all sorts of hoops: "Bank of America is offering its “Mortgage to Lease” option to only about 2,500 preselected borrowers in New York, Nevada, Arizona and California. A company spokesman would not comment on how many customers had taken part in the program. Citi’s “Home Rental Program,” announced just last month, applies to only 500 homeowners in Arizona, California, Texas, Florida, Nevada and Georgia."