Short Sale FAQ

How do I Start?

You have begun the journey of saving your credit and removing bad mortgage debt by taking a few moments and visiting our website. Now take the initiative by filling out the contact form or calling our short sale experts. Our professionals will explain the process and guide you every step of the way to a brighter future. 

How long does the short sale process take?

A typical short sale process may take from two to six months. During this time, you will be able to stay in your property until the short sale has been completed. Once all required documentation is submitted, a decision is typically made within 60 days. Common reasons decisions may be delayed include junior liens held by other banks and waiting for approval from all individuals that must approve the short sale. Depending on the type of loan, an investor and/or insurer may need to approve the short sale as well. 

What documents do I need?

Depending on you bank or lender, the typical documents needed for a short sale are: 
  1. Hardship letter – Explains your current hardship
  2. Pay check stubs – Your most recent pay check stubs if employed
  3. Bank statements ­– Your most recent bank statements for the last two months
  4. Authorization form – Authorization form
  5. Financial statement – Statement of all your monthly obligations

We will provide you with the forms you need and help you with putting together all of the other required documents. 

Is the short sale really free?

Yes, our short sale services are completely free to the home owner. We provide our short sale experts and our attorney at no cost to you.

What is the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007?

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 was enacted on December 20, 2007 (see News Release IR-2008-17). Generally, the Act allows exclusion of income realized as a result of modification of the terms of the mortgage or foreclosure on your principal residence.

My loan is in foreclosure. Can I still be considered for a short sale?

Yes. However, the foreclosure may continue during the process. Please contact California Home Assistance to start the process as soon as possible.

My loan is current. Can I still be considered for a short sale?

Yes. However, the required financial documentation must be submitted along with a detailed hardship letter explaining your inability to maintain your loan payments.

My property is a rental. Can I still be considered for a short sale?

Yes. However, you must include rental income documentation, which will include bank statements, rental agreements, or an explanation letter if rents are not being generated.

I filed bankruptcy. Can I still be considered for a short sale?

Yes. However, consult your bankruptcy attorney regarding the process of selling your property during a bankruptcy.

I want to deed my property to my lender. I have heard this is possible through a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. Is this an option?

This may be an option. However, it is recommended the short sale option is reviewed first with your lender.

Will I be required to pay back the amount of the shortage or the deficiency balance?

The approval letter will specify the terms of the short sale approval. Your short sale expert at California Home Assistance will be able to explain whether the deficiency balance will still be owed.

How does the bank decide what price to put on the property?

Every bank has a specific method of deciding how much they will accept on a short sale.

What if my mortgage is an FHA, HUD or VA mortgage?

Short sales can still generally be accomplished on all of these types of mortgages, although each one has different criteria.

Who owns the house after a short sale?

The buyer of the house is the owner after a short sale, just as in a normal sale. The mortgage lender is paid off and the previous homeowner moves to a different home. 

Do you handle homes in my area?

Our focus is California; however, we will consider short sales in other areas of the country. In addition, we work with other short sale specialists nationwide that will provide you the same service excellence as California Home Assistance. 

Do you handle duplexes, apartment buildings, condos, or commercial property?

Yes, we handle residential properties and commercial properties of all types in virtually all price ranges.

How do I know if I was insolvent?

You are insolvent when your total debts exceed the total fair market value of all of your assets. Assets include everything you own, including your car, house, condominium, furniture, life insurance policies, stocks, other investments, and your pension and other retirement accounts. 

I have other liens (i.e. mechanics, IRS, court judgments) on my property; can I still do a short sale?

Yes, but it gets much more complicated and takes longer. Each lien holder must be negotiated with individually.

I have 2 or 3 mortgages on my house. Can I still do a short sale?

Yes. Each mortgage or line of credit (HELOC) will be negotiated individually.

I have a sale date on my property; can I short sale?

You need to contact California Home Assistance ASAP. We may be able to postpone the sale date and proceed with the short sale.

Does a short sale damage my credit score?

A short sale is damaging to your credit, but less so than the alternative. Having some late payments and a filed foreclosure has already done damage to your credit, but a completed foreclosure generally does more damage than a short sale agreed to by your lender. Obviously, a bankruptcy significantly damages your credit score. 

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