Common Short Sale Seller’s Questions

Our experienced short sale attorneys and short sale Realtors have compiled these common short sale seller’s questions for your review.

Is a Short Sale right for me?

Mortgage lenders are increasingly willing to work with borrowers faced with a financial hardship to accept a discounted payoff on a mortgage. If you are faced with a hardship that makes it likely you will be unable to meet your obligation on your mortgage, your lender would prefer to settle the matter with you as opposed to taking the property through foreclosure.  In addition, we are seeing more and more lenders offer incentive payments to homeowners who successfully close escrow on their home in a short sale instead of a foreclosure!  We had a client with Chase receive $35,000! HAFA pays $3,000!

As you consider the option of pursuing a short sale, remember your lender is looking to limit any potential loss on your loan. By completing a short sale, your lender has arrived at a solution that is, for them, much better than a foreclosure.

If I do a Short Sale, how much will I have to pay to sell my home?

Nothing. It’s true that in most cases you will pay literally no sales costs if your lender approves the short sale. All commissions, title and escrow fees, and even most repair expenses are paid by the lender as part of the short sale approval. After our discussion with you and depending on your personal situation we will include the *following clause in the contract.

“Seller’s agreement to sell is subject to approval by existing lender of a short sale at no cost to seller. Seller shall not be required to deposit funds to close escrow.”

Remember, lenders approve short sale and accept the resulting loss in an effort to avoid bigger losses through foreclosure.

How do I get started on a Short Sale?

It’s easy. Contact us!  There is no charge to you to get started. It is as simple as contacting us and we will get to work.

Can I simply deed my property to someone else and avoid the hassle?

Deeding your property to someone without paying off the loan is nearly always a bad idea. In the first place, the lender still considers you primarily responsible for payment on the loan. If loan payments do not get paid, or if the lender ultimately forecloses, this will show on your credit.

Secondly, when you deed your property to someone else, you give up control of the property. Along with the deed goes the ability to control the property.

Do not deed your property to someone without paying off the loan unless you have consulted with an attorney.

What sort of hardship would my lender consider legitimate?

To some extent, that will depend upon the mortgage company considering the short sale request. Generally, so long as the hardship is real and the mortgage company believes the loan is likely to become delinquent as a result, the short sale request will be processed by the Loss Mitigation Department. A big key to getting Loss Mitigation to accept a hardship is to submit a strong hardship letter. The hardship letter sets the tone for the entire file.

Below you will find a list of “hardships” that are common and frequently accepted by mortgage lenders.

  • Family illness or injury
  • Illness or injury in the extended family – particularly if it forces relocation
  • Job relocation when the property is equity deficient
  • Job loss or significant income loss
  • Divorce or split of domestic partners
  • Adjustment in mortgage payment or unforeseen increase in living expenses

I am current on my mortgage, will my lender consider a Short Sale

The answer is, maybe. Some lenders will accept a short sale file for approval on loans that are not delinquent. Other lenders will not accept the file until the loan is delinquent. We can put your short sale file together within a couple days and submit it for approval. That is the best way to determine if your lender will accept a file for approval on a loan that is current.

Why would a mortgage company agree to accept a Short Sale?

There are actually several reasons why a mortgage company would approve a short sale payoff, including the following;

Legal Concerns – Mortgage lenders have come under legal pressure to work with borrowers to equitably resolve situations where borrowers are unable to meet their mortgage obligation, particularly when the borrower makes an effort to arrive at a compromise solution.

Wall Street is Watching – Mortgage lenders rely heavily on their ability to package and sell bundles of loans on the secondary mortgage market. They need to sell these bundles of loans in order to put the funds back to work by loaning the money again and collect loan fees along the way. If mortgages perform poorly after they are sold it could impact the lender’s ability to sell their loans on the secondary market. A successful short sale gets the loan payoff resolved quickly.

Asset Management Expenses- If a lender acquires a property through foreclosure, the property will be managed until it is repaired and resold. It is expensive to manage real property assets – homes – spread throughout the region, the state and possibly even the nation. Keeping properties maintained, keeping utilities on, making repairs and the administrative costs attached to these activities are all costs the lender would prefer to avoid. A successful short sale eliminates most of these costs

Reserve Requirement- Delinquent and non-performing loans place another burden on mortgage lenders. For all delinquent and non-performing loans lenders must set aside funds in reserve to deal with potential losses. These funds cannot be put to work generating new loan fees until the bad loans are resolved. A successful Short Sale lets the lender put more money to work.

Do lenders approve all Short Sales?

In a word, no. That is why it is critical to work with those that have extensive experience in getting short sale approved.

From the presentation of the short salepackage to the lender to working with the lenders Loss Mitigations Department, we know how to keep the file moving towards approval.

 I have two (or three) loans, can I still do a Short Sale?

Yes. We can work with both lenders (many times the same lender hold the 1st and the 2nd loans) to put together a short sale transaction. Even if the value of your home is below the balance of the 1st mortgage, we can normally get the junior lien holders to cooperate.

 My property is in rough shape and needs work, can I still do a Short Sale?

Absolutely. In fact, lenders are more motivated to do a short sale on a property that needs work than on a property that doesn’t. The lender knows the risk of loss goes up when they foreclose on a property that needs lots of work. Aside from expense of completing the work, lenders are simply not set up to get the work done. They are in the loan business, not the fix- it business.

 I am concerned about my credit, how will a Short Sale affect my credit?

The big key here is to avoid foreclosure. By nearly any measure, a foreclosure is one of the most damaging events your credit status can encounter. By avoiding foreclosure, you will likely be able to resume normal borrowing (car loans, credit cards, consumer goods and such) relatively quickly.