Short Sale vs Foreclosure
Whether you should do a short sale or let the home go to foreclosure depends on several factors. While for some homeowners it is easier to throw up your hands and let the bank take your home, that might not be the wisest thing to do.
What is a Short Sale?
A short sale happens when the lender is shorted on a mortgage, meaning the lender accepts less than the total amount that is due. If your mortgage is $100,000, but your home is worth, say, $90,000, you are $10,000 short, not including costs to close the sale such as real estate commissions, recording fees or title and escrow charges.
Sometimes, to avoid going through the costs of foreclosure, a lender will sanction a short sale by letting a buyer purchase the home for less than the mortgage balance while the home is in pre-foreclosure stage. A pre-foreclosure stage is one of the three stages of foreclosures.
Short Sale Benefits
Here are a few benefits for doing a short sale that may not have occurred to you:
- You are in control of the sale, not the bank.
- You may sleep better at night knowing who is buying your home.
- You will spare yourself the social stigma of the "F" word, foreclosure.
- Contrary to popular belief, you can be current on your payments and still effect a short sale.
- Your home sale will be handled like any other home sale.
Of course, you will make your real estate agent happy because agents are happy to take listings.
But what about you? What do you get out of a short sale?
- Retain some dignity in knowing that you sold your home.
- You won't suffer the social stigma of the "F" word: foreclosure.
- No mortgage payments to make, unless you choose to make them.
- You can meet the new owners.
- You will be eligible, under Fannie Mae guidelines, to buy another home in 2 years instead of 5 to 7 years.
- If your credit report does not reflect a 60-day+ late pay, under Fannie Mae guidelines, you will be eligible to buy another home immediately.
Short Sale and your Credit 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.
Some clients have reported FICO score drops of 50 to 130 points.
This point drop is typically due to being in"default", defined as behind on your payments.
It is recommended that you seek legal counsel before attempting to pursue a short sale. Short Sale Solutions nor a real estate agent can give you legal advice.
Deficiency Judgments After a Short Sale
Judgments are often negotiated between the seller and the short sale bank. In some cases, such as California, if the home is your personal residence and was financed through purchase money, there is no deficiency judgment.
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.