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More and more people are in over their heads when it comes to their home. In this tough economy, many have fallen behind on their mortgages and don’t know where to begin to rid themselves of the property that they can no longer afford. Real estate agent and short sale trainer Mike Cuevas of Exit Realty and Agent Redefined has five things homeowners need to consider when their home is underwater.

1. Understand the process. A short sale is when a lender agrees to discount a loan due to an economic hardship on the part of the homeowner. Typically, a short sale is used to prevent a home from being foreclosed. Usually, a bank will allow a short sale if they believe it will result in a smaller loss than the expense required for foreclosing.

2. Compare it to foreclosure results. Foreclosure can be extremely damaging to an individual’s credit report and it can have long-term effects. Since we live in a credit driven society, keeping a good credit rating can save a family thousands of dollars in attractive finance rates for vehicles, home mortgages, and other large items. A negative credit report and poor score can affect everything you do from renting an apartment to buying a car.

3. Bankruptcy and its impact on your future. Filing for bankruptcy will consolidate your debt and can wipe out your liabilities, but it will not prevent an eventual foreclosure, it will only delay it. However, if all you need to do is delay a foreclosure and there is little to no other major outstanding debt which needs to be settled, then there are other methods which may be more suitable. Trying to conduct a short sale while in bankruptcy requires strategy and a plan. It is best to consult with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney prior to making any decision in order to gain the proper information and make an appropriate plan. If your home is the only debt that is creating an uncontrollable situation for you, a short sale option is likely your best bet versus a bankruptcy. If you have other debt you need resolved after filing bankruptcy, a short sale is still a necessity unless you don’t care about a foreclosure eventually being reported onto your credit.

4. Discover if you are qualified. Though the process differs based on individual, it is broadly understood that in order to qualify for a short sale, the seller/homeowner must show legitimate hardship. Common reasons include: death, divorce, loss of job, relocation, etc. As long as the property is inevitably headed towards foreclosure it will qualify for a short sale.

5. Consider the benefits. One of the major benefits of a short sale is that it ends the financial and emotional nightmare quickly. From the day a homeowner accepts a contract to the time the property will close can take up to 90-120 days. Losing one’s home is a painful process, but short sales can help families to decrease the time and frustration they spend in financial limbo, and it can help to maintain their credit and move forward into the future.

For more information, visit www.chicagolandshortsale.com/.


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