Q: What is a short sale?
A Short Sale, also known as a pre-foreclosure sale, is when you sell your home for less than what you owe. Your mortgage company must agrees to a short sale, and proceeds from the sale will go to the lender. You may also be eligible for the government's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) which offers homeowners and banks some additional benefits for a successful short sale.
Q: Do you handle both Residential & Commercial short sales?
Yes we also work with commercial property owners to accomplish a short sale and ease their hardship, however the FAQ's here are designed to address residential homeowner's concerns. Commercial short sales are much more intricate and its concerns will be addressed individually on a case by case basis.
Q: How would I benefit by doing a short sale?
Q: Am I eligible to do a short sale?
A short sale may be an option if: You are ineligible to refinance or modify your mortgage You are facing a long-term hardship: Loss of employment - Reduced income - Business failure - Damage to property (hurricane) - Death of a spouse or wage earner or anyone - Severe illness - Inheritance - Divorce - Relocation (over 100 miles) - Military service - Payment increase or mortgage adjustment - Insurance or tax increase - Separation - Too much debt - Incarceration - Combination of any of the above
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 or your ARM rate is resetting and you cannot afford the new payments
Q: What is the process for a Short Sale?
1) Meet with us to discuss you particular situation and to see if a short sale is right for you. We also will arrange a free no obligation consultation with our attorney to help you answer any legal concerns you may have.
2) Once you have decided to move forward call your bank and advise them of your decision. Let them know you will be working with us to accomplish this and ask them to send their specific short sale package.
3) We will need to list and market the property for sale
4) You will need to start collecting all supporting documentation to prove to the bank that you cannot continue making payments. (We will give you a checklist)
5) Once we have a buyer, you will need to ratify the contract and we then present the contract and all you supporting documents to the bank.
6) The bank will in turn assign a Negotiator to the file and order a BPO (Broker Price Opinion) from an independent source.
7) The bank will then take all the factors into consideration and make a determination whether or not to approve the short sale at the current offer price or deny the offer.
8) If the offer is accepted we notify buyer's agent and we move forward to closing. If denied, we continue to market the property at the new bank approved price until we get an offer and then we resubmit.
Q: How long will it take to do a short sale?
A Purchase & Sale Contract is the trigger for the short sale process to begin in earnest. From this point it generally takes between 60-120 days. This can be shorter or longer and also depends on the number of mortgages (lien holders) you have, the specific bank / investor that has your loan, etc. and if the buyer stays with the process to the end.
Q: Who approves or deny the short sale?
Most people would think that it is the bank that they are making their mortgage payments to. This is not always true. Some of the banks are actually just servicer of the loan and the actual Investor is some other institution. So for example, you may be making your mortgage payments to Bank of America but they need to get approval from Melon Bank, NY who is the actual Investor that holds the mortgage. Then there is the PMI Company (Private Mortgage Insurance), etc... So in brief, there may be multiple levels of approval and each situation may be unique.
Q: Is a short sale a guaranteed option?
We are trying to get the bank to accept less than you owe and so it can never be guaranteed. However, we always review your specific situation and explain the possibilities and probabilities of a successful outcome prior to taking the short sale listing. In most cases clients were able to complete the short sale successfully but as you can appreciate there are some who would not qualify.
Q: How much will you charge me to do a short sale?
Nothing, Zero, Zilch, Nada ... Our service is absolutely free. The bank usually pays our real estate commissions.
Q: What documents will I need to provide to the bank?
Think of things in this light. I borrowed $100.from you and promised to pay it back to you with interest and now I would like to pay back only $25. Basically you will want me to prove the reasons why and then you will probable verify what I am telling you.. right? The bank is definitely no different. They will need the following: A hardship letter from you - Any supporting documents to validate the hardship - 2 Years Tax returns - Last 2 years W-2 - Last 2 months bank statements - Last 2 months pay stubs - Proof (if you state) you are residing in property - Any other document that the specific bank may require
Q: I have a 2nd Mortgage / HELOC, etc. can I still do a short sale?
Yes you still can, however it may be a bit more rigorous process and sometimes the investors of the 2nd or HELOC may require you to either bring some money or sign a new note for the amount, but this may also be negotiable.
Q: I bought property as an investment, can I do a short sale?
Yes. You will still need to prove your hardship and there may be some additional tax issues to consider.
Q: I live abroad but have a property in Florida, can I short sale?
Yes. In this situation it may be much easier to convince the bank to accept the short sale.
Q: Should I continue paying my Home Owner's Association (HOA) dues?
Definitely! Florida is a Super-Lien state and the HOA can foreclose ahead of the mortgage holder and also their liens are very difficult to get settled, please make these payments if you can afford.(Unless advised differently by your Attorney)
Q: I am Veteran, will I get any special treatment if they decide to do a short sale?
VA Relocation Assistance. Effective immediately, and until January1st, 2014, VA is authorizing servicers to advance $1,500 in relocation assistance to borrower occupants who complete a short sale with a VA compromise claim or who execute a DIL (deed in lieu). VA will treat this as a reimbursable expense that may be included as a part of the eligible indebtedness on the basic claim event in VALERI; it will not be considered as proceeds to the owner from a short sale of the property, which is prohibited. The amount of the indebtedness reimbursable on a claim after crediting it with the net value of the property (or the short sale proceeds, if larger) is limited to the maximum guaranty on the loan plus the cost of liquidation appraisal(s). The servicer must waive any amount on the loan not covered by the sum of the VA guaranty claim amount and the greater of the net value or sale proceeds.
Q: What areas in Florida do you serve?
We are licensed throughout the state of Florida and will serve clients who have properties anywhere in the Florida. Even if you are not residing in this state but the property is located here we can handle it. The physical location of the property within Florida is really not a concern as we communicate with banks across the country. We use our reciprocal MLS listing abilities, our local, national and global marketing strategies to get a sale of you property.
Q: Will I owe taxes after a short sale if this is my primary residence?
The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 addresses this issue; you should also speak with your tax adviser if you need to.
The following is an excerpt from the irs.gov website concerning taxes on deficiencies to the lender as a result of a short sale.The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. Debt reduced through mortgage restructuring, as well as mortgage debt forgiven in connection with a foreclosure, qualifies for the relief. This provision applies to debt forgiven in calendar years 2007 through 2012. Up to $2 million of forgiven debt is eligible for this exclusion ($1 million if married filing separately). The exclusion does not apply if the discharge is due to services performed for the lender or any other reason not directly related to a decline in the home's value or the taxpayer's financial condition. More information, including detailed examples can be found in Publication 4681, Canceled Debts, Foreclosures, Repossessions, and Abandonments. See IRS news release IR-2008-17.
Q: My wife is on the deed but not on the mortgage, does she need to consent to the short sale?
Since the first step in the short sale is listing the property for sale, then she must sign the paperwork to list it. In cases where there is divorce proceedings, separation, etc and there is no corporation it can be a problem. Here again it might be a good idea to consult with our Attorney.
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Contact me today to discuss you situation and let me help you develop an exit strategy that will help you get back on your feet sooner.
Chances are, you or someone you know is facing the possibility of foreclosure. But you need to understand that you are not alone. Now more than ever, it's important to identify your options. Foreclosure can be avoided, your credit can be saved, and your financial future can be salvaged.
I understand what my clients are going through, I've had family members that found themselves facing foreclosure and so I give each case my utmost effort. Here is an actual testomony from one of my clients:
Hey there Imran. Again, thanks for contacting me first the good news. In all honesty I cannot tell you how pleasurable it has been to work with you as you are the ideal professional - thorough in your in your process, audible in your speech, and you certainly put everything in perspective in a clear and understandable way. And, this is a big AND, your patience in handling client's idiosyncrasies is commendable. Sorry for any "bumps" in the road during this process. I will certainly convey the news to mom and I hope the remainder of this process goes smooth. Until the next time, keep a smile, think happy thoughts and have a good remainder of your week...J@mes
As an agent with the SFR Designation (Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource - Certified by the National Association of Realtors), I have a strong and unique appreciation of the factors affecting the market, and know that there are options available to you. If you would like to know more about your options, please call me at (407) 744-1827.