A short sale is the sale of a property for less than what the owner still owes on the mortgage. A short sale is an alternative to foreclosure when a homeowner needs to sell and can no longer afford to make their mortgage payments. The lender agrees to accept less than the amount owed to pay off a loan now rather than taking the property back by foreclosure and trying to sell it later. Lenders agree to a short sale because they believe it will net them more money than going forward with a lengthy and costly foreclosure process.
Can I Do a Short Sale?
A short sale is an alternative to foreclosure and may be an option if:
- You are ineligible to refinance or modify your mortgage
- You are facing a long-term hardship
- You are behind on your mortgage payments
- You owe more on your home than it’s worth
- You have not been able to sell your home at a price that covers what you still owe on your mortgage
- You can no longer afford your home and are ready or need to leave
Don’t just walk away from your home.
There are better options. The most important thing is to avoid foreclosure—and options may be available to assist you if you are ready to leave your home. Some options may even offer cash incentives to help you move and transition into different housing. Now’s the time to take action before it’s too late.
A foreclosure is the legal process where your mortgage company obtains ownership of your home (i.e., repossess the property). A foreclosure occurs when the homeowner has failed to make payments and has defaulted or violated the terms of their mortgage loan. A foreclosure can usually be avoided—even if you already received a foreclosure notice. See the chart (in "Foreclosure Comparison") to compare some other options: Short Sale and Mortgage Release (Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure). No matter the option, you must take action as soon as you can.
A foreclosure can result in you:
- Owing the mortgage company the deficiency balance of your mortgage (the deficiency balance is the remaining total mortgage balance after the sale price of the home).
- Lengthening the time you could receive a mortgage to purchase your next home to at least 7 years.
|What are the benefits?
Some benefits of pursuing a short sale option are:
|What is the process?
If you qualify for this option, the process is similar to a normal real estate sales transaction. You will work with a real estate agent to market and sell your home. However, your mortgage company will also be working with you and your real estate agent every step of the way to:
|What are my options?
Homeowners who are struggling with their mortgage payments are facing tough choices—do you stay in a home you may no longer be able to afford or should you try to leave? While it may be difficult to think about leaving your home and making this decision, it may be the best option if other solutions to keep you in your home are no longer viable.
In some cases, you may be eligible to receive relocation assistance to use toward your moving expenses and to make the transition to new housing easier. A short sale may take up to 120 days, but this could be shorter or longer depending upon your specific situation.
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