Real Estate Answers: Your bank may pay you to complete a short sale

Patrick McCarran 2015By Patrick McCarran

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Know your options! If you are struggling to make ends meet or have negative equity in your home it is important that you know what options are available to you. There are a number of different courses of action that may me made to help you get in control of your financial situation. These include bankruptcy, modification, short sale and foreclosure.

Most lenders are now offering modifications to homeowners in distress. These are often more of a temporary solution as the banks seldom offer principal reductions. Usually the bank will offer to lower you payment over a fixed period of time. The problem with these terms is that without a principle reduction you are not building equity. In today’s market where a homes value may be upside down or have a negative equity of over 70% current appreciation projections show it would take years just to break even on the balance of the loan. This makes your situation like a long term lease.

Foreclosure or simply walking away from the home is another option. There are of course pros and cons to this approach. The legal repercussions can vary depending on each individual’s situation. California is a non-recourse state and has what is called a one action rule which basically states that if your homes is foreclosed and sold by the trustee that is the only recourse for the lender. Which means, generally speaking you can walk away with little or no legal consequence. These rules can apply to primary homes and second or investment property.

However if you have a second loan it could very well be a recourse loan which means the lender can, and most likely will pursue other assets and wages. A short sale will prevent this. If you are considering a default I highly suggest you look into a short sale an option. Choosing a short sale will put you back in control of your life and when you need to move. Because a short sale is perceived as a proactive choice by the borrower the credit compiling agencies tend to score it higher than a foreclosure or a deed-in-lieu.

I would always advise my clients to seek advice from an attorney under bankruptcy protection a well. Many homeowners have incurred a substantial amount of debt in this economy and a bankruptcy may be a good option to help you afford to keep your home by eliminating burdensome debt. Although legally you may not need to pursue a short sale after the bankruptcy, in regard to credit building it is still a good option.

Let me be clear, I am not advocating to anyone to ignore their financial obligations. What I am saying is that you should look at your own situation and make the decision that is best for you and your family and not the bank. It is very important that you should be informed about your options and possible consequences.

Loan modification, Short Sale or Strategic Default Which one is right for you?

Take control of your situation and call Patrick today I am an experienced Short Sale agent and we can discuss and compare your options with no obligation.

Patrick McCarran is a local Realtor and can be reached at (925) 899-5536 or

© 2015 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties is an independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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