A recent article published by the Florida Association of Realtors confirmed what we've feared (and advised consumers about) for many months now. The Banks are coming after homeowners who let their homes go to Foreclosure in large bunches, now seeking to obtain a deficiency judgement against those previous homeowners.
As a real estate consultant who is well-versed in the default industry (Short Sales & Foreclosures), we've often advised our underwater homeowners to take the Short Sale route versus just letting the home go to Foreclosure. Many underwater borrowers just assume that the Bank will take the property via Foreclosure and they can then start their lives over. Few are actually aware that the process from a Short Sale versus that of a Foreclosure is much more beneficial to them.
Many homeowners who let their property go via Foreclosure don't realize that they're potentially on the hook for the entire deficiency balance, plus the full taxation of the forgiven amount via their income tax returns. Those same borrowers could have removed themselves from a larger portion of the taxation, by getting the Bank a higher amount for the home via Short Sale process, because most homes when sold as a Short Sale are in far better condition & much more desirable than a Foreclosure with an untold story. By selling for a higher dollar amount via Short Sale, the amount forgiven will be less, therefore the tax exposure will be less for the borrower(s). In addition, they would've had the opportunity to obtain, in writing, a release from deficiency judgement from the Short Sale Lender(s) as opposed to being left exposed to the full deficiency judgement via Foreclosure.
As with almost any real estate-related decision, it's always best to consult with a local real estate professional. Homeowners who are underwater, behind on their mortgages, have received a Lis Pendens, should all review their options with a local Realtor who has experience in facilitating successful Short Sales for their Seller clients. You may be blown away to find out how much better the Short Sale route could be.
Another option is to consider a Bankruptcy, through a local Bankruptcy Attorney Specialist, to coordinate the Short Sale at a much more rapid pace. Working with a local real estate consultant who specializes in these type of transactions, you can be sure that they will have several Bankruptcy Attorneys to refer you to, as well.
If you, or someone you know, is faced with Foreclosure - start by finding out what your home is worth by clicking here: What's My Home Worth? A local real estate professional can review your options with you shortly after completing the form.
Josh Parker is the CEO & Team Leader of ProFusion Property Group at Keller Williams Realty, located in Trinity, FL. Josh is an award winning REALTOR®, a 2-time BOLD Graduate, an active Agent Leadership Council Member, the Chairman of the Agent Productivity Committee, and a Tampa YPN Committee Member. ProFusion Property Group specializes in the listing & sale of residential real estate for Pinellas, Pasco & Hillsborough Counties. His team has successfully sold over 250 units for their clients in 2012-2013, while maintaining an exceptional “sold price to list price” statistic of 99.08% (nearly 4% higher than the market average). For more information, free tips, and free home searches, please visit Josh & the ProFusion Team at www.profusionpg.com or www.facebook.com/profusionpropertygroup.