Why are Short Sales rising?

What is a short sale?

A short sale is a transaction in which the lender, or lenders, agree to accept less than the mortgage amount owed by the current homeowner. In some cases, the difference is forgiven by the lender, and in others the homeowner must make arrangements with the lender to settle the remainder of the debt.

Why is the number of short sales rising?

Due to the recent economic crisis, including rising unemployment, and drops in home prices in communities across the nation, the number of short sales is increasing. Since a short sale generally costs the lender less than a foreclosure, it can be a viable way for a lender to minimize its losses.

A short sale can also be the best option for homeowners who are “upside down” on mortgages because a short sale may not hurt their credit history as much as a foreclosure.

As a result, homeowners may qualify for another mortgage sooner once they get back on their feet financially.

Resourceful links to Short Sale policies:

Freddie Mac Short Sales Commission Policy (PDF 128K)  (Oct. 27)
Fannie Mae Short Sales Commissions Policy and Appeals Process (PDF 299K) (Oct. 27)

Foreclosure Alternative Program Fact Sheet (PDF 44K)

Source: National Association of Realtors

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