Unemployment, reduced property values, increase in mortgage payments – these are all reasons many homeowners are facing foreclosure. They are choosing to walk away from their homes and get rid of those unaffordable monthly mortgage payments.
There is an option that should not be overlooked – a short sale. The benefits of a short sale typically outweigh the ease of walking away in a foreclosure. A short sale is where the bank agrees to accept less money than the homeowner owes on the loan. There is a mountain of paperwork involved in a short sale that may become overwhelming but the benefits of going through the process are worth it in most cases.
Florida has unique rules that homeowners should be aware of. One of the biggest differences between Florida and other states is the deficiency judgment. Some states ban lenders from collecting the rest of the money owed on a loan after a foreclosure or short sale is completed. Florida law allows banks to go after borrowers for up to 20 years. In a short sale, lenders are sometimes willing to write off the deficiency on the front end. In many cases the bank waives its right to seek a deficiency.
It is best to sit down with the lender to see if they are willing to accept a short sale. If a lender refuses to waive the deficiency in a short sale, it still would have to go back to court to seek what was owed on the loan. In a foreclosure, a deficiency judgment is automatically awarded by the courts and the bank is free to seek a claim. Homeowners should be aware of what they are getting into. Seek legal advice if necessary. If you want to list your home, contact me today.
If you are thinking of buying a short sale or foreclosure, we have plenty to choose from in Southwest Florida. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can provide you with additional information.
Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Sandals Realty, Punta Gorda, FL