Foreclosure: What It Really Means & How To Avoid It

9 Ways to Avoid Foreclosure:

1. REINSTATEMENT: Bring the loan current
2. FOREBEARANCE: Temporary repayment plan
3. REFINANCE: New loan with reduction in monthly payments
4. LOAN MODIFICATION: Modify original loan terms
5. SELL THE PROPERTY: Use equity to payoff or pay difference
6. RENT THE PROPERTY: Must make loan current
7. SHORT SALE: Negotiate with bank to accept sale under loan amount
8. DEED IN LIEU OF FORECLOSURE: “friendly foreclosure”
9. BANKRUPTCY: Will stall foreclosure but not prevent it

The facts are these, if you are currently experiencing a financial hardship and are considering walking away (foreclosing) or bankruptcy, there is a better, more dignified way to exit gracefully – short selling your home.

The benefts to short selling your home are recovering sooner from any “late payment” marks against your credit (with foreclosure, the judgement remains on your credit report for up to 7 years and there is NO guarantee that you can get a loan to purchase again within two to three years contrary to popular belief), and in some instances, some lenders are allowing short sales without being in default. I personally have closed a handful of those. In that instance, the seller could feasibly purchase again right away.

Additional benefits to a short sale are the Debt Forgiveness Act which protects you from tax implications up to $250,000 (if you’re single) and $500,000 (if you’re married); and SB 458 (California only) which protects you from the deficiency once the short sale closes, neither the Sr nor the Jr lienholder can pursue for the difference once the sale is complete.

Unlike SB 458, once you “walk away”, the deficiency will walk right behind you. Then it will take another derogatory action to make that go away — bankruptcy. Not only is bankruptcy yet another blow and judgment against your credit, but it’s also expensive. Whereas with a short sale, your lender will cover the costs of the transaction (commission, escrow/title fees, buyer closing costs, etc). If you have a definitive hardship, it is assumed you have no funds to contribute to the transaction.

As you can see, an expert in this area is required as this is not an easy process; nor is every real estate professional trained in short sales.

So, reconsider “walking away”, count the costs, do your homework, get with a qualified real estate professional, and soon you will be on track to recovering sooner.

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