What is the difference between a short sale and a foreclosure?

Review the following comparisons between short sales and foreclosures for a better understanding of why short sales are a better option for most homeowners. While a short sale is a complicated process, the outcomes of your patience and diligence are worth it in the end!

What are the implications to my credit score?

Following a successful short sale your mortgage will be reported on your credit score as either paid or negotiated, lowering your score as little as 50 points and affecting you for only 12 to 18 months. After a foreclosure, however, your credit score can lower as much as 300 and usually at a minimum of 250 points and affects your score for over three years. A foreclosure will remain on your credit history for 10 years or more and will remain as public record.

Who decides if my home should undergo a foreclosure or a short sale?

In both short sales and foreclosure, the decision is made by your mortgage lender. The most important aspects to getting a lender to agree to a short sale, and saving you the more damaging credit implications of a foreclosure, is to prove that you have no other way to pay the mortgage and that the amount received from a short sale is the fair price of the market.

How long will I have to wait to buy another home?

After a foreclosure, you may be forced to wait 3-7 years before a mortgage lender will offer you an interest rate that is acceptable. Most mortgage lenders report that for homeowners who have undergone a previous short sale they may get a reasonable interest rate in less than two years. Fannie Mae guidelines allow a short seller to apply for a new loan immediately if payments were kept current and had no 60-day late payments on their record. With a short sale the FHA has a 12 month waiting policy and the VA will not prevent you from getting another home loan.

What will be the effects on my future loans?

For most mortgage lenders you will not be asked to declare or be questioned regarding a short sale on any standard loan application (1003). In regards to foreclosure, you will be asked on any future standard loan application (1003) if you have had a property foreclosed in the last seven years, therefore affecting your rate. Fannie Mae backed mortgages will be available to you following a short sale after two years. Fannie Mae backed mortgages will not be available to you for at least five years if you have lost your home due to a foreclosure.

How does a short sale versus a foreclosure affect the deficiency judgment?

If your short sale is handled successfully, the lender may give up the right to pursue a deficiency judgment against you. If the lender does pursue a deficiency judgment against you after a successful short sale, the amount will be considerably lower because your home was sold at a price closer to market value than that of an REO (Real Estate-Owned) sale. In all foreclosures, with the exception of those states without deficiency, the bank has the right to file a deficiency judgment against you. Since your foreclosed home will have to go through the REO process if not sold at auction for a lower sales price, this results in a higher deficiency judgment against you.

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