Thursday, December 2, 2010

Short Sales Helpful, But Read the Fine Print

While the economy seems to be improving, though modestly, one area of concern remains the shattered real estate market, where home prices have tumbled, homeowners owe more than their house is worth - a condition known as being "upside down" - and the recent foreclosure moratoriums by mortgage servicers like Bank of America, Ally Bank and JP Morgan Chase have slowed the pace of residential real estate sales.

With unemployment close to 10%, many homeowners are facing foreclosure and looking for ways to get out from under a financial burden they did not anticipate. One such method is a real estate short sale, which is a process by which the homeowner sells the property back to the bank at a reduced price. This often results in a win for both sides, as the bank does not have to engage in the time-consuming and costly process of foreclosure and the homeowner walks away from the home and mortgage debt, usually without any residual amount owed, known in the industry as a "deficiency," that being the difference between the original amount owed and the amount of the short sale.

Most states provide for deficiency claims, and banks routinely take judgments against short sale sellers, so this is an area which needs to be negotiated with the lender beforehand, and the services of a lawyer, representing the short seller, are strongly advised. Banks don't like to take losses and will normally try to slip in a deficiency clause into a short sale agreement.

For further information, you can can click here to check for all kinds of sales - including short sales - in your area, or for sales nationwide and more information on all kinds of real estate transactions, click here.

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