The goal of a short sale is to help you avoid foreclosure if you are no longer able to remain in your home. In the short sale process, you sell your home and settle your mortgage debt for less than the amount that you owe.
What is a Short Sale?
A short sale can be an excellent solution for homeowners who need to sell, and who owe more on their homes than they are worth. In the past, it was rare for a bank or lender to accept a short sale. Today, however, due to overwhelming market changes, banks and lenders have become much more negotiable when it comes to these transactions. Recent changes in corporate policy and the Obama administration have also improved the chances of getting a short sale approved. But to be technical, here's a more official definition:
A homeowner is 'short' when the amount owed on his/her property is higher than current market value.
A short sale occurs when a negotiation is entered into with the homeowner's mortgage company (or companies) to accept less than the full balance of the loan at closing. A buyer closes on the property, and the property is then 'sold short' of the total value of the mortgage.
How Will a Short Sale affect my credit?
A short sale generally takes less time to complete than a foreclosure, so your reported delinquency could be shorter than it would with a foreclosure. As a result, your credit will likely improve faster than it would if your house goes to foreclosure. If a short sale is completed on your property, lenders will typically report that your loan was "paid in full for less than the full balance." You should only consider a short sale after you've explored all other options, including modifying your loan.
For homeowners to qualify for a short sale, they must fall into one or more of the following circumstances:
Financial Hardship – There is a situation causing you to have trouble affording your mortgage.
Monthly Income Shortfall – In other words: "You have more month than money." A lender will want to see that you cannot afford, or soon will not be able to afford your mortgage.
Insolvency – The lender will want to see that you do not have significant liquid assets that would allow you to pay down your mortgage.
You may be eligible to sell your home in a short sale, if:
you have a hardship, such as a job loss, divorce or medical emergency
you owe more than your house is worth
you’re unable to afford your current monthly mortgage payment
you’re unable to modify your current home loan
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