Short Sale vs Foreclosure
Homeowners facing economic hardships may have a foreclosure looming, but are often too proud or uninformed to do anything about it, until its too late. Before considering bankruptcy or allowing the bank to foreclose, consider a short sale.
Unlike a short sale, foreclosures are initiated by lenders only. The lender moves against delinquent borrowers to force the sale of a home, hoping to make good on its initial investment of the mortgage.
Also, unlike most short sales, many foreclosures take place when the homeowner has abandoned the home. If the occupants have not yet left the home, they are evicted by the lender in the foreclosure process.
Once the lender has access to the home, it orders its own appraisal and proceeds with trying to sell the home. Foreclosures do not normally take as long to complete as a short sale, because the lender is concerned with liquidating the asset quickly. Foreclosed homes may also be auctioned off at a "trustee sale," where buyers bid on homes in a public process.
In most circumstances, homeowners who experience foreclosure need to wait a minimum of five years to purchase another home. The foreclosure is kept on a person's credit report for up to seven years.
Although there is no guarantee your lender will agree to a short sale, here is a list of the benefits of participating in a short sale, versus being foreclosed upon.
Benefits Of A Short Sale Versus Foreclosure
• Homeowner can apply for a short sale even if they're not behind in payments.
• There in ZERO COST to the homeowner in short sale. The lender pays all the selling costs and real estate commission. Meaning the homeowner has nothing to lose!
• The homeowner receives professional guidance from real estate agent when doing a short sale.
• A short sale may postpone the foreclosure action to allow enough time for house to be sold.
• Homeowner may qualify for financial or relocation incentives from the lender, and receive up to $10,000 for relocation from a government program called HAFA which provides an option for homeowners transitioning out of their mortgage.
• A short sale only affects your credit score between 50-70 points vs 200-400 points with foreclosure.
• Homeowner may qualify for another mortgage loan as soon as 2 years, as compared to 7 years with a foreclosure.
• Doing a short sale avoids foreclosure and waives the full deficiency owed by the homeowner. They can now walk away from the property free and clear.
• Possible tax relief from cancellation of any debt income.
• Short sales are not likely to affect jobs that require a security clearance.
• It is easier to recover financially and emotionally from a short sale than a foreclosure.
If you plan to simply pack up, leave and “let the bank have the property”. This is the worst idea ever for the following reasons:
• If you leave the house, you will still owe the balance on the mortgage plus penalties and late fees (which in many cases is tens of thousands of dollars). This means that by law you are responsible for paying off this balance over the next 10 to 20 years for a property you no longer own!
• If you walk away from the house, the bank will still try to recover the money. They can legally do this by garnishing your future wages and investments!
• If you let the property go into foreclosure, your credit score can be affected up to 400 points. This means that it is going to be hard to find somewhere to rent (if they do credit checks). It is going to be hard to get another mortgage for a very long time with a foreclosure on your record. It is also going to be hard to get credit (in general) with a foreclosure on your record.
• Having a foreclosure on your record can also be a hindrance in getting a job, especially ones that require security clearance.
Read What is Short Sale?.