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A relatively new area in my practice is growing, that of advising clients on the pros and cons of a short sale.

For those of you who may not know what a short sale is, in a nutshell, it is the sale of your home for less than the mortgage owed on it.

While virtually all major lenders are doing short sales, the procedures, time frames and terms can vary from lender to lender.  And, if that is not enough, if you have a second mortgage or equity line of credit, these lenders must agree to the short sale and their time frames have to be taken into account to close the sale.

The most frequent question a homeowner asks is whether the lender, or lenders, can get a deficiency judgment and go after what few assets remain after the sale of the home.And unfortunately there is no easy answer.  The variables for each client differ depending on the lender, types of loans, and how “under water” the property is.

The best advice I can give in the short article is: if you are considering a short sale it is in your best interest to speak with a real estate attorney before you list your home for a short sale.

And if, after your investigation, you choose to short sale your home, you should always have the “term sheet” or approval letter reviewed by an attorney before you sign it.  This way you won’t be surprised down the road by a letter from a collection company wanting you to pay the amount of the deficiency.

If you find yourself considering a short sale, I would be happy to talk with you.  My consultation fee is reasonable, and you could save thousands of dollars – and your future credit – reviewing your particular situation with me.



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