You’ve probably heard it on the news, read it on the internet, or know a friend or two who are doing it. What, exactly, is a Short Sale? In a short sale, a homeowner who cannot keep up with their loan asks the lender to take a dollar amount less than what is owed on a home’s mortgage, and forgive the remainder of the unpaid debt.
So if a borrower has a mortgage balance of $250,000 and finds a buyer who will pay $150,000 for the house, the lender agrees to accept that $150,000 and close out the loan.
Ideally in a short sale, everyone wins. Borrowers avoid the ugly foreclosure process that destroys their credit, while lenders recoup more of their costs than they would by spending the time and money it takes to foreclose and resell the property.
If you are in default or run the risk of foreclosure, we would like to offer you our services to show you that there ARE options other than losing your home.
Have you considered short sale?
As short-sale experts, we have helped many homeowners who thought that foreclosure was the only option for them, and take great pride in what we have accomplished so far.
We have highly qualified buyers ready to purchase a home right now. With our team of dedicated experts, and well-placed marketing and advertising, our listings sell in the shortest amount of time with the least inconvenience to you. On average, our homes are under contract in 30 days or less.
Let me help you understand the many options you have.
Each situation is unique and we can provide you with a FREE, unbiased opinion that can help you make the right decision. Please call or e-mail me anytime to make an appointment for a no obligations market consultation. To request for your FREE Short Sale Packet, please click here .
IF YOU HAVE ASKED YOURSELF SOME OF THESE QUESTIONS, IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO CALL US!
- I owe more than my home is worth. Am I eligible for short sale or is my only option foreclosure or bankruptcy?
- I want to do a short sale but I have a 2nd mortgage, does this make me ineligible?
- Do I have to stop making payments? When should I stop making payments?
- Do I first try to do a loan modification? How do I qualify?
- Is a short-sale a better option than foreclosure? Why can’t I just walk-away from the house?
- Will the bank forgive all or some of my debt?
- How will a short sale affect my credit?
- If I short-sale my home, will I be eligible to buy another property in the future?
- I don’t want to move. Can I short sale and lease back my property?
- Will I still have to pay taxes if I do a short sale?
You may have more questions. We cannot stress enough that each situation is different, and it isn’t simply Yes-No answers. Take the time to talk to a qualified short-sale expert. The circumstance that you as the mortgagee and your lender/s as the mortgager are in will determine what the best course of action is for you. As in any financial transaction, we advise you to consult with a tax professional. We work with some of the best in the industry and more often than not, we have solutions for most situations. Please call us today at (702) 285-1990 to see what we can do for you. Chances are, we CAN help you.
A short sale may be an option, but you need to have the right people to help you navigate this complex process.
- Don’t assume that your hardship does not qualify; you don’t have to have a legitimate hardship. It’s all about having a sound strategy. To get the lender to forgive the balance of your mortgage, you’ll have to prove that you can’t make payments or must move and can’t pay off the full loan. You will need to give the bank recent W-2s, bank statements and tax returns, so be sure to have the necessary documentation on hand. In some scenarios, banks are offfering cash incentives so they don’t have to deal with foreclosing on a home.
- Your credit will take a hit. If the shortfall is forgiven, it won’t hurt your credit as much as a foreclosure. But you’ll still be hard-pressed to find another lender willing to give you a mortgage anytime soon. In rare cases, you’ll be required to repay part or all of the funds; fail to do so, and you run the risk of being sued. A consumer who has been through a short sale could see a drop in her credit score of up to 200 points, essentially the same decrease as if the homeowner had gone into foreclosure. And like a foreclosure, the negative mark will pull down the score for seven years. That said, if you’re underwater on your mortgage and you need to move, a short sale is a better option than foreclosure. Going through foreclosure will make it very difficult for you to get a loan for at least three to five years; if you’ve done a short sale, you may be able to qualify for a new mortgage within two years.
- You may owe taxes on the debt. If it’s a vacation home or investment property, you will have to prove to the IRS that you’re insolvent (that your total liabilities exceed your total assets), or you may owe the IRS. Again, we reiterate the fact that you need to consult a tax professional to determine how this bill will affect your personal circumstance.
More information can be found in Publication 4681, Canceled Debts, Foreclosures, Repossessions, and Abandonments. Also see IRS news release IR-2008-17.
Foreclosure Options Explained
President Obama’s Making Home Affordable Program can help struggling homeowners keep their homes by making their mortgage payments affordable. But the program will not help everyone. We at The Dulcie Crawford Group have helped many of our clients stave off foreclosure by analyzing each unique situation and recommending the best plan of action for your financial situation. Some of the options discussed below may hurt your credit scores but the effect will not be as damaging as if you were foreclosed on. As a certified Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource Specialist, we take the time to listen so we can help you the best way possible.
If you are not eligible for a Making Home Affordable Refinance or Modification, your mortgage company orHUD-approved housing counselor may suggest other options that are available to you. These options may include:
Reinstatement: You pay the loan servicer the entire past-due amount, plus any late fees or penalties, by a date you both agree to. This option may be appropriate if your problem paying your mortgage is temporary.
Forbearance: Under a forbearance agreement with your mortgage company, your mortgage payments are reduced or suspended for a period you and your servicer agree to. At the end of that time, you resume making your regular payments as well as a lump sum payment or additional partial payments for a number of months to bring the loan current. Forbearance may be an option if your income is reduced temporarily (for example, you are on disability leave from a job, and you expect to go back to your full time position shortly).Forbearance isn’t going to help you if you’re in a home you can’t afford.
Repayment Plan: If you have missed payments, your mortgage company may be able to help you catch up by creating a schedule for repaying the past-due amounts. Your servicer gives you a fixed amount of time to repay the amount you are behind by adding a portion of what is past due to your regular payment. This option may be appropriate if you’ve missed a small number of payments.
HomeSaver Advance™: If your mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae and your missed payments are due to a temporary financial hardship, you may be eligible for an unsecured personal loan to help you get current with your payments.
However, if you cannot afford your home over the long term, you may need to sell the home and move to housing that you can afford. While this means giving up your home, you may still be able to avoid foreclosure. Discuss these alternatives to foreclosure with your mortgage company:
Pre-foreclosure Sale: If you cannot sell your home for the amount necessary to pay off the mortgage loan, ask about a pre-foreclosure or“short” sale. In certain situations, the servicer may be willing to accept a payoff amount less than what you owe on the mortgage balance. Your servicers may allow you to sell the home yourself before it forecloses on the property, agreeing to forgive any shortfall between the sale price and the mortgage balance. This approach avoids a damaging foreclosure entry on your credit report. Under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, the forgiven debt on your primary residence may be excluded from income when calculating the federal taxes you owe, but it still must be reported on your federal tax return. For more information, see www.irs.gov, and consider consulting a financial advisor, accountant, or attorney.
Deed-in-lieu of Foreclosure: If you cannot sell your home in a reasonable amount of time, your mortgage company may allow you to voluntarily transfer the deed to the property to the mortgage company. You voluntarily transfer your property title to the servicers (with the servicer’s agreement) in exchange for cancellation of the remainder of your debt. Though you lose the home, a deed in lieu of foreclosure can be less damaging to your credit than a foreclosure. You will lose any equity in the property, although under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, the forgiven debt on your primary residence may be excluded from income when calculating the federal taxes you owe. However, it still must be reported on your federal tax return. For more information, see www.irs.gov. A deed in lieu of foreclosure may not be an option for you if other loans or obligations are secured by your home.
Be Alert to Scams
Scam artists follow the headlines, and know there are homeowners falling behind in their mortgage payments or at risk for foreclosure. Their pitches may sound like a way for you to get out from under, but their intentions are as far from honorable as they can be. They mean to take your money. Among the predatory scams that have been reported are:
- The foreclosure prevention specialist: The “specialist” really is a phony counselor who charges high fees in exchange for making a few phone calls or completing some paperwork that a homeowner could easily do for himself. None of the actions results in saving the home. This scam gives homeowners a false sense of hope, delays them from seeking qualified help, and exposes their personal financial information to a fraudster. Some of these companies even use names with the word HOPE or HOPE NOW in them to confuse borrowers who are looking for assistance from the free 888-995-HOPE hotline.
- The lease/buy back: Homeowners are deceived into signing over the deed to their home to a scam artist who tells them they will be able to remain in the house as a renter and eventually buy it back. Usually, the terms of this scheme are so demanding that the buy-back becomes impossible, the homeowner gets evicted, and the “rescuer” walks off with most or all of the equity.
- The bait-and-switch: Homeowners think they are signing documents to bring the mortgage current. Instead, they are signing over the deed to their home. Homeowners usually don’t know they’ve been scammed until they get an eviction notice.
With over 16 years of real estate experience, I have built my business through referrals. Our commitment is to our clients and our profession and we aim to be not just any Realtor but Your Real Estate Consultant! Please call us at 702.568.2530 to find out how we can help you.