The new exit strategy: A short sale

Dean Foust

For all the homeowners who are upside down and can no longer make their mortgage payment (because of either a job loss, divorce, or an option ARM that's resetting higher), up to now the only option was, well, letting the bank foreclose. That's not a good option since a foreclosure sticks on your credit record for at least 10 years. But some experts are now advocating a "short sale." This is a case of a distinction with a difference: If your bank agrees to a short sale, you then hire an agent to find a buyer for the house, you sell the house for a loss, and with the bank's blessing, they agree to eat the loss (although they could still demand the homeowner make some kind of payment or share the loss).

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