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(MCT)—QUESTION: Although I have a financial hardship, my lender recently turned down my short sale request because I was not 45 days late on the payment. I am out of money and willing to leave the property but don’t want to go through the trouble of a foreclosure. I want to do the right thing, but I don’t know what that is. Can you help?

ANSWER: I have often said that it is worth trying a short sale while you are still making payments. If the short sale is approved, it’s easier on you, your neighbors and the bank. Although some lenders are willing to work with you while you’re still current, others require the loan to be delinquent. I have been told they do this to scare away “strategic” short sellers, but this does more harm than good to all involved, in my opinion.

My advice: Try again. I have helped many clients get approvals from the same lender shortly after a denial by simply resubmitting the application.

Sometimes the difference between a denial and an approval has less to do with the lender than the individual negotiator. It’s likely that you’ll get a different negotiator the second time around. And sometimes lenders change their policies.

In August, the government announced that it’s giving banks “more clear and consistent guidelines making it easier to process and execute short sales.” Homeowners with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages now can be approved if they’re still making payments, assuming they have a hardship. The new guidelines go into effect Nov. 1.

Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar.

(c)2012 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Distributed by MCT Information Services