The Utah Short Sale That Never Was And Why Honesty Matters

utah short sale

This is not your typical “I need to short sale my house” story in Utah.  It started out that way but turned into a very happy ending for the seller whose name is Shirley.

Wikipedia defines a short sale as:

a sale of real estate in which the net proceeds from selling the property will fall short of the debts secured by liens against the property. In other words, it is when people want to sell their house and more is owed than the house is worth.  In this case, if all lien holders agree to accept less than the amount owed on the debt, a sale of the property can be accomplished.

In this case my Utah short sale customer Shirley ended up having a lot of equity in her home.  The concern is that many people try and contact the home owner to “help” them.  I am making an educated guess that in the Salt Lake County area the owner of a home that receives a Notice of Default will receive 30 to 50 letters, phone calls and door knocks from people, and this doesn’t include if the same person makes multiple inquiries. Some people that contact folks needing to Short Sale their house are of excellent character, some are OK and some break the rules.

I am one of those people that contact mortgage holders that receive a Notice of Default.   I contacted Shirley , and we decided to meet and talk about her foreclosure.  As we talked, it seemed that Shirley was up-side-down with her house mortgage and would need to do a short sale.  She told me if she could get at least some relocation money from the bank to move, she would be grateful for that.  We discussed some of the reasons it is better to short sale a house rather than just let the bank take the house back such as relocation money for the seller, deficiency judgement protection, liability issues and so on.

Part of the process with the sale of any house is to run a title report and get the pay off amounts for any debt secured by the house.  The title report will tell us all the debt secured by the house and will reveal any judgements or liens against the house.  Then, a balance will be requested from any mortgages or other debt against the house.  It was during this process that I discovered that Shirley had a lot of equity in her home.  We did have one problem, and that was a foreclosure sale date looming. We immediately switched gears and started looking for a buyer that could pay cash or get a loan quickly.  We found that buyer and everything turned out just fine for Shirley. Here is a link to the story of taking Shirley to the short sale closing that never happened.

The moral of this story is to know who you are dealing with.  Remember Shirley would have been happy with relocation money from the bank had she done a short sale.  This would have been between $3,000 to $5,000 or nothing at all.   Had I been dishonest, I could have found a buddy to buy the house and taken all the equity.  It is crazy in this business how many people in foreclosure trust their house to the first “real estate” expert they run into.

So how can an home owner in foreclosure protect them self?

First, Get a 2nd Opinion.  You are trusting someone with your house and all the issues that go along with a sale or a short sale.

Second, Educate Yourself. Here are some resources to consider:

Two final tips:

  1. Work only with a licensed agent with a team (Attorney, Title, Agent) that specializes in short sales.
  2. Understand there are people that want to take advantage of you.

So if you find yourself in a situation that you are behind in your house payments, please take the time to find someone to work with that has your best interest at heart.  My next article will be stories about some of the bad people out there that may take advantage of you.  I will even show you a restraining order I have against a person that was caught lying to one of my eventual clients.  I take people that mistreat people in a stressful situation seriously.  Until next time.

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