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Homeowners guide to the short sale of real estate 

Why would a lender allow a short sale?

You need to know the lender's perspective in a short sale.

Your mortgage lender will be considering a number of factors in deciding whether to approve a short sale. A review of your circumstance, whether you deserve a break due to financial hardship caused by uncontrollable circumstances such as death, divorce, layoffs or illness. They will also take a hard look at whether it would be cheaper (or more profitable to them) to simply proceed with the foreclosure process on the house, make any necessary repairs and sell it through an agent. How many other real estate owned (REO) properties they have in their portfolio will affect their decisions as well.

The process

When a borrower falls behind on their payments the loan is usually sent to the lender’s loan loss mitigation department. Most lenders also consider short loan payoff sale requests in their loss mitigation departments.

Your chances of success with your lender improve if your communications with them is organized and complete. Your contact with your mortgage lender’s loss mitigation department should be professional. You’ll want to send them the appropriate documentation and provide them with any additional information that they may require.

Keep in mind that lenders will approve a short sale as a last resort to avoid foreclosure. If a home was purchased at the height of the market and has depreciated considerably, the home may be “upside down”, or is worth less than is owed. The lender may consider a short sale. The same is true for a property was recently refinanced at 100% or on an option arm leaving the property without equity.
 
Keep in mind that lender is not in a position to manage property they are in the lending business. A home, while it’s sitting vacant waiting for sale, is accruing costly insurance premiums, taxes, repairs and bringing in nothing. The lender is losing even more because the lost interest they could be receiving on their asset. They have their money invested, but are making nothing from the investment until the property sells. If a short sale can be accomplished, their money is returned and they are no longer losing money on the investment. In a short sale the bank may even be willing to finance a new owner, making it a win/win for all parties.
 

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