Short sales have become more and more popular since the housing market began its struggle during the recession. Though the term is thrown around more loosely now, there are still a great deal of people who do not understand exactly what a short sale is.
What is a short sale?
A short sale is a carefully agreed upon sale of a property for less than the amount of the mortgage balance, executed as a means for both a homeowner and a mortgage lender to essentially cut their losses.
Typically, short sales are for extreme cases when the bank or lender decides that it is in their best interest to take an early loss instead of enduring costly foreclosure proceedings.
If you have missed multiple mortgage payments and are facing foreclosure, the bank or lender won’t automatically offer a short sale. You need to prove that your situation merits a short sale, which typically involves providing documentation that proves you are indeed in a crisis with no other viable options.
Submitting a letter of hardship.
To prove your case, you’ll need to spend some time on a cover letter explaining your hardship and provide full financial disclosure; the original purchase contract; a balance sheet of your income and expenses; asset statements, proof of income; bank statements; two years of tax returns; and a professional who knows the ropes.
Simply stating, ‘My house is worth less than the loan and I don’t want to pay any more,’ will not be acceptable.
Along with the required documentation, you stand the best chance of getting through the two- to seven-month short sale ordeal if:
- The home is marketable
- The second mortgage holder (if there is one) gets a cut or otherwise goes along with the deal
- The same lender holds all mortgages
- There is enough time before foreclosure (at least about 4 months).
Lenders prefer handwritten letters and are more apt to agree to a short sale for those who lost jobs or encountered significant medical bills, as opposed to careless spending.
Your best approach to a short sale is by contracting with a real estate professional familiar with the transaction. If your home’s value is significantly less than debt tied to the property, you are a candidate for a short sale. You are not selling a home on the open market so much as you are selling your case to the lender. Call Sonja today at 661-979-9000 or email her at [email protected] to discuss this in more detail.
Letter of hardship