Are you facing Foreclosure?
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The financial crisis has caused tremendous stress and heartache for families across America. If you or someone you know is among the millions today affected by the prospect of foreclosure, understand that you are not alone. Consider a Short Sale of your south Florida home. As a South Florida Real Estate professional with the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation I have trained extensively to understand the options, solutions, and effective methods for dealing with homeowners facing hardships. I fully understand that saving a home can save a life, which can save a family, which can save a future.
What is Foreclosure?
A legal process in which a lender takes the title or forces the sale of a property as a result of the borrower’s failure to comply with ther terms and conditions of the mortgage. (From Flip: How to find, Fix, and Sell Houses for Profit. By Rick Villani and Clay Davis)
3 Phases of Foreclosure:
Phase 1: Pre-foreclosure (Private)
Phase 2: Public Auction(Public)
Phase 3: Real Estate Owned or REO (Private)
What is the Foreclosure Timeline?
- Pre-foreclosure begins the day that you are late with your mortgage payment and late charges begin accruing.
- Lender sends notice of default (around 45 days)
- Notice of Intent to Foreclose Publicized (around 90 days)
- Auction (around 150+ days)/Real Estate Owned
- Redemption Period: from the time the property sold at auction until the clerk files the paperwork.
Foreclosures cost the lender time and money. Between legal fees, possible eviction costs, taxes, insurance, maintenance, HOA fees and selling costs, a foreclosure can cost a lender 40K or over. Lenders do NOT want to own.
Other alternatives are available and a Short Sale & Foreclosure Specialist can guide you through them. During your marketing presentation, ask your Specialist for details. Your Short Sale & Foreclosure Specialist will need to determine if the seller / homeowner is a qualified short sale candidate. Four key criteria must be met. They are: (1) Demonstrates Hardship, (2) Financially Insolvent, (3) Market Pricing, (4) Cooperative.
Qualifications for a Short Sale
Before you eagerly climb aboard the short sale bandwagon, consider the following to determine whether you may qualify for a short sale. If you cannot answer yes to all four requirements, you may not qualify for a short sale.
- The Home’s Market Value Has Dropped
- Hard comparable sales must substantiate that the home is worth less than the unpaid balance due the lender. This unpaid balance may include a prepayment penalty.
- The Mortgage is in or Near Default Status
It used to be that lenders would not consider a short sale if the payments were current, but that is no longer the case. Realizing that other factors contribute to a potential default, many lenders are eager to head off future problems at the pass.
The Seller Has Fallen on Hard Times
The seller must submit a letter of hardship that explains why the seller can not pay the difference due upon sale, including why the seller has or will stop making the monthly payments.
A few examples that do NOT constitute a hardship are:
- Bad purchase decisions. Blowing your paycheck on a home theater system with surround sound does not qualify as a hardship.
- Unhappy with the neighbors. Even if every home on your block has turned into “crack houses,” that will not qualify as a hardship.
- Buying another home. The lender will not care if you have decided the home is no longer suitable for you or your family.
- Pregnancy. Increasing the size of your family or starting a family is not considered a hardship.
- Moving into an apartment. If you decide to move out of your home, that is a lifestyle decision and not a very good reason to abandon your home.
Examples of hardship are:
- Medical emergency / sudden illness
- The Seller Has No Assets
The lender will probably want to see a copy of the seller’s tax returns and / or a financial statement. If the lender discovers assets, the lender may not grant the short sale because the lender will feel that the seller has the ability to pay the shorted difference. Sellers with assets may still be granted a short sale but could be required to pay back the shortfall.
For example, if the seller has cash in a savings account, owns other real estate, stocks, bonds or even IRA accounts, the lender will most likely determine that the seller has assets. However, the lender might discount the amount the seller is required to pay back.
Many entities profit from short sales, but there is no seller short sale profit.
Short Sale Consequences
A short sale is dependent on a buyer making an offer to purchase. If you do not receive an offer, you will not qualify for a short sale. So even if you meet all the other criteria, it is possible that no one will buy the short sale. It is also dependent on the lender accepting the buyer’s offer. If the lender rejects the offer, a short sale will not take place.
If the lender agrees to the short sale, the lender may possess the right to issue you a 1099 for the shorted difference, due to a provision in the IRS code about debt forgiveness. Many situations are exempt from debt forgiveness, according to the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007.
You should speak to a real estate lawyer and a tax accountant to determine the amount of short sale tax consequences, and whether you can afford to pay those taxes, if any.
Blemished Credit Report
A short sale will show up on your credit report. It’s a pre-foreclosure that has been redeemed. Short sales affect credit ratings. While the damage to your credit report may not seem as significantly bad as a foreclosure to you, creditors may not make the distinction. Experts say the drop in your FICO score is identical to a foreclosure reporting.
Always seek legal counsel before attempting to pursue a short sale. A real estate agent cannot give you legal advice.
Along with a Short Sale,you may need other opportunites and options to help Save Your Home. I can help walk you through the process and speak with your bank on your behalf. However, you need to be proactive in helping yourself too!
RSVP Homes Realty is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan.