Due to my husband's job transfer, we moved out of state. With the current economy, we're upside down in our home and can't sell it, nor can we afford to make the necessary improvements (painting & minor repairs) that will allow a property management firm to lease it on our behalf. We can't afford the mortgage payment, as well as our rent payment in our new state, so we haven't made a mortgage payment in the three months. We've called the bank that holds our mortgage and explained the situation to them, asking if we could begin the process of a deed-in-lieu. They informed us we have to list it with a realtor first and try for a short sale. (We owe twice what it's worth, so we're highly doubtful a short sell would be an option. The realtor feels the same way.) The realtor we're using suggested we seek legal advice before moving forward with this. She said she's heard of cases where the bank has sued the owner for the difference with a short sale. Can they actually do that? I could see it perhaps if we'd trashed the place, but we haven't done that. Do we need to worry about being sued if we're actually able to get a short sale? Is a short sale the only way they'd be able to seek legal action against us? Could we ask the bank for a letter assuring us they won't seek legal recourse, or are we worrying for nothing? Thank you so much for your help with this. (I'm using the zip code of our property. I'm assuming that's what you need and not our current zip.)
1 Answer from Attorneys
Thank you for your inquiry. Your options would be to try a loan modification, short sale, or allow the property to go into foreclosure. There are different legal ramifications related to each option regarding how to deal with the deficiency, tax consequences, and statute of limitations.
Feel free to contact my office directly if you'd like to discuss your matter in more detail.
Jim Herbe, Esq.
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