Despite the stigma, your doing the right thing.
Most people that don't understand the business, think that short sales are for those who bought over their heads in the first place and deserve to lose the property. While this is true for SOME, the majority of the short sale clients I am meeting with are hard working people that have fallen victim to this economy.
If you have lost your job, modifying your loan is no longer an option. For those of you that have never had to make the call to your lender to look for options only to hear "well can't you borrow the money from someone?" or "why don't you sell your car?" (I didn't make these up.), you wouldn't understand the frustration of trying to do the right thing.
Short Sales are not new and not a result of the current economy. They are a creation of past recessions and were developed to be a win,win for all involved. Believe me when I say, if they didn't benefit the banks in some way, we wouldn't have them as an option.
The basic trade off is that the consumer gets out from under the loan with limited(although there is some) damage to their credit while the bank can recoup fair market value without having to go through the expense of foreclosure.
I guarantee that you would have a different opinion as to the value of the short sale option and the people who are forced to use it, if you came to just one listing appointment with me. They are always very emotional meetings that range from sadness to frustration to anger. Most have worked and paid their way all of their lives and never thought they would be in this position. They are swallowing their pride and DOING THE RIGHT THING!