In our current economic environment, we have seen an unprecedented increase in foreclosures, deed in lieu of foreclosures and short sales of home mortgages across the United States.
Many homeowners are losing their homes due to many reasons including job loss, unexpected medical expenses and life circumstances. Fast forward to changed circumstances, those homeowners are now in a position to buy a home again. The mortgage lender will look at the type of circumstance that led to loss of the home and what the potential buyer has accomplished since the foreclosure or short sale.
What about a short sale?
For buyers who have sold a home previously by a short sale, the guidelines for future purchase are slightly different and less stringent.
• If the short sale occurred due to financial mismanagement, they must wait a minimum of four years from the date of the short sale.
• Minimum credit score of 680 is required along with acceptable evidence buyer has re- established an acceptable credit history.
What about a short sale with extenuating circumstances?
If the short sale occurred due to extenuating circumstances, they would need to wait a minimum of two years.
• The borrower would need to write a detailed letter of explanation outlining the reasons for the financial difficulties that were beyond their control and what has changed demonstrating that the circumstance that caused the difficulty is unlikely to recur.
• Supporting documentation with the letter would also be required. Most importantly, the buyer would have to show there was no unacceptable credit prior to the problems. It's no mystery that selling your home as a short sale is a much better option than a foreclosure or a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
In either instance homeowners will experience heartache and stress as they go through the process. Following the guidelines above gives assurance that there is opportunity to purchase another home in the future.
Any homeowner considering a short sale needs the professional guidance of a team, consisting of a Realtor, a tax advisor, a financial planner, and an attorney. The best advice is to do something before it is too late.
Carol Zingone is a Broker Associate with Prudential Network Realty. Recently honored as the Realtor of the Year for Northeast Florida - an award based on community service, professional qualifications and other attributes, Carol helps buyers and sellers throughout the Beaches, Intracoastal West and Greater Jacksonville, FL areas. She can be reached at 904/993-9048 or via email at email@example.com.