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Using a Real Estate Lawyer to Push a Short Sale
If you bought your home at the height of the real estate market, you may discover that your home is now underwater, or worth less than the balance of your mortgage. If you can't afford to stay in your home, but want to avoid foreclosure, then a short sale may be the answer to your problems.
A short sale occurs when you sell your home for less than the value of your mortgage and your lender agrees to forgive the balance of your mortgage. This is sometimes easier said than done, because you must get your lender to agree to the short sale before it can proceed. A real estate attorney with experience representing clients in short sales can help facilitate the process.
How a Real Estate Attorney Can Help in a Short Sale
Not surprisingly, mortgage companies don't always agree to short sales. After all, the lender loses money in the process. So you may need to do some legwork to convince the lender that a short sale is in everyone's best interests.
You and your attorney will have to:
- Provide proof of your home's value
- Demonstrate that a financial hardship makes it difficult or impossible for you to remain in your home and pay your mortgage
- Show that foreclosure is your only other option
Your lawyer can help you assemble the necessary paperwork and then negotiate with the bank to approve the short sale.
Not only can a real estate lawyer persuade the mortgage company to accept the short sale, but your attorney may also be able to help protect you and your remaining assets. It's not unusual for a bank to agree to a short sale, but refuse to forgive the remaining money you owe. In other words, the bank retains the right to garnish your wages or otherwise attempt to collect the balance of the money due on your mortgage. A good short sale attorney will negotiate a release of personal liability and permanently wipe out the balance of your loan.
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