What seems like a time that was long ago and far away ....we were neck deep in short sales...at one point 36 at one time...all with minimally two..and divorce related. Soooo...you had two lenders, two lawyers and two Sellers...and there was literally "no love" to feel anywhere. We closed all of them...and looking back on that time, we wonder how our marriage survived it...in addition to the other members of the transactions ! We had done our homework and gone to school in three states and came home and worked with lawyers here to put our own "methodology" on the process which resulted in hundreds of successful closings. Days became nights and fax machine went into overtime as banks demanded that the hundreds of pages of files be sent in this manner. We had a designated line and as fast a machine as technology had at the time. Paper files were inches thick full of tax returns, pay stubs and documentation.
The reason for a short sale was not always divorce....one recently widowed homeowner came to us with young daughters and a house she could no longer afford because her husband had committed suicide ...a post war tragedy...leaving her with young daughters and no way to pay the mortgage. The family had a dog that was a mixed breed and in my memory...the size of a small horse..he was HUGE. The daughters loved him....and he loved them back..often being their comforting "pillow" during this tumultous time in their young lives while they watched TV or Mom read them a story. He was as friendly as he was big...long haired and massive.
Mom came to the reality at the suggestion of a lawyer family friend, that a short sale was the best thing she could for her family to begin their road to "start over" in more ways than any young family should have to do in a lifetime. For families in this difficult situation, we tried hard to find rental property in the same school district as close to their friends as we could find an affordable property. Mom was a realist..."You know Sally, no landlord will rent to us with a dog this size. I just can't take him away from them after all they have been through." I knew she was right. In Wisconsin, there are very, very few single family homes for rent...even fewer then...and this was not an apartment size dog.
Mom had access to a special fund as the result of her husband's death and could use it as a down payment on a house. The house sold very quickly and we were able to get short sale approval in record time with very minimal mortgage payments missed. The down payment was not the issue...a short sale is a short sale and no lender would lift the years of waiting to buy another home requirement...regardless of the situation.
Her calls to us were daily ...there HAD to be a way she kept repeating...and we wanted that to be true for her and her daughters..but but but...we don't make the rules. I formulated a list of every lender in the 8 county area and spent some part of every day talking with the heads of mortgage lending departments...pleading the case of this now single parent family. Lots of sympathy...but the answer was always the same..."We'd love to help you...But..." Mom was convinced we had some kind of magic...we were not so sure.
One day....as "impossible" situations often do....we were able to "turn the corner" with the head of mortgage lending at a local credit union. Not bound by the same regulations...and this woman with a heart...could see that a smaller home would be affordable on Mom's income and the ding to her credit was understandable....and we got a pre approval letter. The phone call to Mom was tearful on both ends...and the hunt began to stay in the school district and find the perfect house. Magically....just as the pre approval had happened...we found one with a Huge backyard that the kids and daughter rapidly fell in love with and were able to call their own.
This past fall we attended a wedding...Mom found another "happily ever after" and a new blended family.
Short sales are a labor of love...and not the niche for every agent...it is times like this one, we were happy to be able to call it ours.
If you or anyone you know, for reasons of hardship is unable to pay their mortgage...or who is looking for agents who have a practice built on education and fostered with compassion, call the Hansons, we are most honored to be of service for all things real estate in southeastern Wisconsin.