Myth #1: The homeowner must fall behind on mortgage payments in order to qualify for a short sale.
Debunked: Years ago this was true:
A financial hardship must exist, such as the ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) increasing in monthly payments.
Loss of job or income.
Health or medical issues.
Extraordinary loss in home value (which may be considered a hardship).
Note: Nobody should advise a homeowner to miss a mortgage payment.
Myth #2: Banks would rather foreclose on a property than approve a short sale.
Many still believe this myth to be true, but more accurately, banks would prefer not to foreclose on a property due to the $50-70k it may cost the bank per transaction. Banks lose less money on a short sale than on a foreclosure. Note: In California, some lenders may pay owners as much as $25,000 to opt for a short sale. SoCal Superior Properties knows which banks can and will negotiate.
Myth #3: Homeowners must be pre-approved by their lender to be eligible for a short sale.
Debunked: Absolutely not true. By and large, most lenders will consider short sale offers. However, each lender may have unique and specific processes to follow, from listing the home to the acceptance of a short sale. Bypassing any part of this process may result the sale not closing, so be sure to follow each lenders’ processes closely.
Myth #4: Short sales never close.
Debunked: Obviously not true. In some areas of the U.S., nearly 50% of all closings are considered to be “distressed” properties, meaning REOs and short sales.
Myth #5: Short sales take months (and months) to close.
Debunked: The short sale processes must be learned. Once mastered, it may not be uncommon to close a short sale in 30-45 days depending on the Buyer. The Seller or Bank can close in days once above. Averaged length 30-45 days if the agent is an Expert. Always and however, certain idiosyncrasies may slow the process and each lender presents their own unique set of specific challenges that only an expert knows how to dodge. No two short sale transactions are identical.
Myth #6: Damage to the homeowner’s credit standing is comparable in a short sale and a foreclosure.
Debunked: In many cases, credit repercussions and deficiency protections are more damaging with a foreclosure. Short sale transactions can often lead to faster financial recovery for the homeowner and should be carefully considered.
Note: If the homeowner missed no mortgage payments, they may be eligible to finance the purchase of a home immediately following a short sale transaction.
Myth #7: Following a short sale, the homeowner will be ineligible to purchase another property for the next 5-7 years.
Debunked: Not true. Using conventional lending guidelines, some consumers may obtain a Fannie Mae backed mortgage a short 24 months after the close of their short sale.
Myth #8: After a short sale transaction, the homeowner will receive a 1099 and be forced to declare the loss as income.
Debunked: The owner may indeed receive a 1099, but due to the 2007 Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, extended many times, among other considerations, the homeowner may not owe any taxes on their transaction.* Laws have changed considerably, so always check with a real estate profession, tax adviser and attorney for capital gains information.
Note: This Act is due to expire at the end of 2015, unless extended again. Please check with SoCal Superior Properties for Updates.
Myth #9: The lender will sue the homeowner after the close of a short sale (or foreclosure, or deed in lieu of foreclosure) for the deficiency.
Debunked: California has certain anti-deficiency protections in place for short sales and foreclosures, depending on the circumstances.*
Myth #10: As an agent, I don’t need additional training to learn all of the ins and outs of the short sale process. And if I wait long enough, the market will recover so I may not need to deal with short sales at all.
Debunked: How long are you willing to wait? Based on the most recent housing reports, home values are still falling. Hopefully, 2012 will see the bottom of the housing market but price recovery may continue to take some time.
PLEASE READ: This article is not legal advice and not to be construed as a substitution for legal advice. If you have specific legal questions, please contact a bankruptcy lawyer or real estate lawyer or foreclosure lawyer as your case may require.
When receiving real estate advice, individuals should always seek their own legal and tax advice pertaining to each persons financial portfolio. We are a real estate solutions and investment brokerage, that specialize in helping homeowners in many ways.
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