Foreclosure and Loan Modification Blog

5 Reasons It Takes So Long To Complete A Short Sale

A short sale, which is when a home is sold for less than what is required to pay off the mortgage, is more complex than a regular sale and takes longer to complete. How long it takes depends on many factors, but about six months is a common rough estimate from professionals with short sale experience.

When someone takes out a loan for a home and its value drops to less than what they owe on the mortgage, that's called having negative equity or being underwater. As long as the monthly mortgage payment is affordable, negative equity is not the end of the world. You can just keep making payments and eventually you should have equity from paying down the loan and/or appreciation of the property.

But when a hardship such as a loss of income has left a homeowner unable to pay their mortgage, they don't have the option of waiting. In situations like that, getting rid of the home in a short sale can be better than going through foreclosure, as it keeps them in control of the process, can be less damaging to their credit, and may allow them to become a homeowner again in less time.

3 Close Calls with Foreclosure on Road to Wells Fargo Short Sale

In late 2015 a homeowner in Orange County, Florida came to our law firm seeking assistance avoiding foreclosure. To protect his privacy, I'll call him Mr. Hannah.

Mr. Hannah's home is in a great location in central Florida just a few miles from Walt Disney World. But being near the “most magical place on earth” didn't help him when, in 2010, he encountered a hardship and couldn't afford to make his mortgage payments to Wells Fargo. In 2011 he was served foreclosure papers.

By the time we were retained to represent him, Mr. Hannah's home was scheduled to be sold in a foreclosure auction. 

Our client told us that he wanted to pursue both a loan modification and a short sale at the same time. He figured that way if one didn't work out he would have the other option to fall back on. We've heard this from other clients in the past, but it doesn't work like that.

Distressed Home Sales In 2016 At A Nine-Year Low

Distressed home sales made up 16.2% of all homes sold in 2016, which is a drop of more than two and a half points from 2015, and a smaller percentage of home sales than in any year since 2007, according to ATTOM Data Solutions Year-End 2016 U.S. Home Sales Report.

A distressed sale is a bank-owned sale, short sale, or foreclosure auction sold to a third party buyer. Basically anything other than a regular sale of a home in which the seller has equity is considered a distressed sale. It's a good thing the number of distressed sales are down. 

The distressed sales numbers breakdown as follows. REO (Real Estate Owned) sales, also called bank-owned sales, were 8% of all sales in 2016, which is down two points from 2015 and the lowest level in 10 years.

Approval to Participate Required for FHA Short Sales

If you want to get out of your Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured home loan through a short sale you should be aware of the differences between an FHA short sale and a regular short sale.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a government agency that insures loans. It is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Their goals are to “improve housing standards and conditions, provide an adequate home financing system through insurance of mortgage loans, and stabilize the mortgage market.”

As a government agency, the FHA is subject to regulations that other mortgages (or investors) aren't.

When to Hold and Fold When You're in Foreclosure

Most people facing foreclosure first experience a hardship that leaves them unable to pay their mortgage. The hardship is usually caused by loss of income, medical problems, divorce, or a family issue.

Whatever the cause, it's only a matter of time after you stop paying your mortgage before you lose your home through foreclosure. It could be many months or years, but it's eventually going to happen unless you reach a resolution with your bank.

And there are ways you to keep your home and solutions that allow you to exit your property under circumstances that are preferable to foreclosure.

What Is A Deed-In-Lieu Of Foreclosure?

If your lender is threatening to foreclose on you for missed mortgage payments and you don't have the money to get current, and aren't eligible for a loan modification, you may be a candidate for a deed in lieu of foreclosure agreement. A deed-in-lieu of foreclosure agreement is when the borrower agrees to give ownership of their home to the lender in exchange for canceling their mortgage.

Can Cash For Keys Work For Me?


If you're in foreclosure and have decided that you cannot or do not want to keep your home, you may be wondering if you could get a “cash for keys” agreement. Cash for keys, sometimes called a "move out incentive", may sound like something you've heard about in hip hop music, but in this case it has nothing to do with kilos of illegal drugs. It's an agreement between you and your lender to hand over the keys to, and move out of your property in exchange for money. Getting paid cash money is always a seductive option, but you should take a close look at what you give up in exchange for that money before signing an agreement.

Short-Sales, Not All You've Heard Is True...

I know you've heard the term short-sale before, I mean, after 2008, who hasn't? Yet many of you who have heard the term, don't know what it means or how it works. Basically, a short-sale “is when a bank agrees to accept less than the total amount owed on a mortgage to avoid having to foreclose on the property. This is not a new practice; banks have been doing short sales for years. Only recently, due to the current state of the housing market and economy, has this process become a part of the public consciousness.”

Voila, that is all you need to know about short-sales... End of article here...

Just kidding...

The description above sounds like a no brainer (you already knew that!). However, understanding the elements needed to obtain a short-sale isn't quite like takin' a walk in the park . Although short-sales these days are a common practice, many homeowners are given information that is kinda sorta not true (misunderstandings, myths, fallacies, whatever you want to call it) about short-sales. Now, don't freak out because I've come up with a plan to clear some of those common misconceptions for you, so look below and feast your eyes on what you thought you already knew....But was really just wrong.

I'm going to call this segment... the modern day short-sale fallacies.

FHA Goes "Back to Work" for Formerly Troubled Homeowners

Been Through the Short Sale, Bankruptcy, or Foreclosure Process? FHA Will Help You Get a New Home Loan.

It's a lot easier for formerly troubled homeowners to get an Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan. That's because  FHA has formally announced that potential borrowers will qualify for an FHA-backed  mortgage only a year after bankruptcy, foreclosure, or the short sale process was complete. In years past, potential homeowners would have to wait two years after bankruptcy and three years after foreclosure or short sale to qualify for a new FHA mortgage; that was simply just regarded as an extended part of the foreclosure process. This program is called "Back to Work", and will be getting to work for soon-to-be homeowners immediately.

Weighing the Consequences of Foreclosure, Short Sale, and Loan Modification

Which has worse consequences, a foreclosure or a short sale? Are there any consequences that come with mortgage modifications? Here's what your realtor and bank won't tell you.

About this Blog

Amerihope Alliance Legal Services is a leading loan modification and foreclosure defense law firm with attorneys licensed in 5 states. We have helped over 7,000 homeowners fight back and keep their homes.

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Our goal is to provide valuable information to help homeowners who are trying to obtain a loan modification or to stop foreclosure. You may schedule a free consultation at any time.

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