Preparing For A Short Sale

What To Do To Prepare For A Short Sale

Before attempting a short sale understand many mortgage lenders today are willing to work with homeowners who fall behind on payments, offering them opportunities to repay the outstanding amount in a variety of ways - a revised payment plan, loan modification, refinancing, etc. It is often less expensive for a lender to help you keep your home than to go through foreclosure.

Understand that foreclosing is an expensive, time-consuming process for lenders, costing them an average $50,000 per property, according to a report by the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. In a foreclosure, the lender tries to sell the property at auction - which may also result in lower net proceeds than the outstanding mortgage amount.

If the property does not sell at auction, the lender repossesses the property and puts it on the market for sale as lender-owned real estate. At this stage, the home has become a non-performing asset for the lender, impairing the lender's ability to make loans. The fact is, lenders want your money not your home. That's why your lender may be willing to offer you a workout plan so you can keep your home.

Examples of Qualifying Hardships
The more temporary your repayment problem is likely to be, the better the chance you can work something out with your lender. A sampling of hardships that may qualify for short sale lender approval include:

  •  Unemployment
  •  Reduced Income
  •  Divorce
  •  Separation
  •  Illness/Medical Bills
  •  Too Much Debt 
  •  Death of Spouse
  •  Death of Family Member
  •  Payment Increase
  •  Business Failure
  •  Job Relocation
  •  Inheritance 
  •  Damage to Property
  •  Military Service
  •  Incarceration
  •  Tax/Insurance Increase
  •  Among Other Hardships 

In addition, you may qualify for the government-sponsored Making Home Affordable Program.

The important point is to contact your lender's loss mitigation department early and explain your situation - before the lender initiates foreclosure. Doing so will help you minimize damage to your credit and avoid incurring late fees and legal charges on top of your unpaid debt.


Here's Where My Expertise Comes In

In the event you cannot find a way to keep your home, conducting a lender-approved short sale may be your best alternative to foreclosure. If so, ask your lender what requirements must be met to win approval for a short sale. Most lenders' loss mitigation departments have a short-sale package of materials explaining the process, requirements and documents needed from you.


From this point forward, you'll need to work with an experienced, knowledgeable real estate professional to help you navigate the complicated process of winning lender approval for a short sale.


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