Hey, Angela (and anyone else listening):
So, we're nearing the closing on our HAP... Somehow, once we actually got in touch with someone at the Sacramento office and have been pestering her almost daily, faxing stuff, notarizing stuff, etc. almost daily, we've begun to move on our sale that was done in June. She did say not to expect our check until the new year though, so we're still not there.
Anyway, I did want to tell you after I've read over our final close of escrow instructions from the army corp of engineers, that they do require we bring anything that won't be covered by HAP's determined payment and the buyer's payment to closing. If there is a surplus (as we've paid extra principal throughout the years and with upgrades to the home), the title company is instructed to pay that to us. The check from HAP goes directly to the title company, as will the buyer's money. At that time, we either would have to have the funds to make up any difference or nothing, if we've paid enough to cover the difference.
The way they told us it works is that basically all checks show up at the title company at the same time (or they TRY to get it that way) and a closing date is chosen with papers signed, etc. The instructions clearly state that if for any reason the seller cannot complete the sale with appropriate funds, etc., any money from ACE gets sent back to them and the sale is basically void (I paraphrased all that). So, essentially, you would have to come to closing with that extra money. I know a couple other people in your situation that will likely be taking out a personal loan to make up the difference in order to close.
Anyway, not sure that's all that helpful, but as we're closer to our close date and are finally getting somewhere on our application and should expect our check and closing next month, wanted to just keep you posted on what I've read.
It really is too bad they don't share with people the "final escrow instructions" at the beginning of the process, as it would probably clear up a LOT of what happens and in what order, what is expected from both parties, etc.
... But I guess that's what this forum is for.