Categories: Foreclosure Defense

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure vs. Short Sale

Going through foreclosure is one of the most stressful and traumatic experiences that anyone can face. Our homes are not just financial investments but emotional ones as well. By the time you actually get to foreclosure you’ve probably tried everything you can to salvage the situation. You may be actively trying to sell the home as a short sale in order to avoid an even more negative impact on your credit report with a full foreclosure process. Through the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program the processes more streamlined than it previously was, but it can still take time to sell the house. Further complications arise if you also have second or even third mortgages on the home. These lenders must also be satisfied with either a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

Let’s explore what a short sale and deed in lieu of foreclosure involves.

Short Sale

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure

  • A short sale occurs when the homeowner and the lender agree to sell the home for less than owed on the mortgage.
  • The lender may require the homeowner to sign a note for the difference between the sale price and the amount owed on the mortgage.
  • The lender may reserve their right to seek a deficiency judgment after the closing of the short sale.
  • In this transaction, the homeowner transfers title to the lender in exchange for being released from the mortgage.
  • The lender may require the homeowner to sign a note for the difference between the market value and the amount of the mortgage or pursue the matter in court by seeking a judgment to cover the difference.

Proceeding on your own with either a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure is not something that I can wholeheartedly recommend. Banks have lawyers on their side looking out for their interests, and so should you. The very existence of deficiency judgments means that you need sound legal and financial advice, and someone to vet any paperwork that the bank insists that you need to sign. Just when you think you have finally been able to walk away from the house, you don’t want to be dragged back into court and told to pay up.

With a deed in lieu of foreclosure you may also be liable for additional taxes. For instance if your home is worth $180,000 in the current market but you owe $250,000; in this case forgiveness of the difference is $70,000 which the IRS will count as income. There are exceptions to this rule under the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act; you will need to consult with a CPA in order to sort out the various tax issues that come either with a short sale or deed in lieu. As always, professionals on your side are the best friends that you can have in this fight. Call us today for free consultation and let’s make sure that when you walk away there’s no strings attached.

Published by
Chad Van Horn

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