We broke up…Can I still short sell the house?

divorceSadly, this is a question I get several times a year.

If you want to know if you should short sale properties after a breakup or divorce, then you are not alone. In fact, if you are curious about whether or not to short sale a home or just move directly to bankruptcy, again, you are not alone.

Up until 2007, so few people dealt with upside-down real estate issues that you were branded a pariah if you had a foreclosure or short sale on your record. But that just is not the case anymore. The real estate market crash has left millions of people in bad circumstances, and they are facing what feels like the hardest decision of their lives.


Here is an email question on this subject:

In 2007 and 2008, I bought 3 properties. Well, after a nasty breakup and horrible renters I’m now in dire straights. I need to know what the best solution is for my situation. I owe more on all the homes than they are worth. I can no longer lease the rentals for the amount it takes to cover the mortgages, which has drained my savings account. The question I have is: Should I short sale and will I be left with a hefty short sale tax bill for the rentals? Or, should I simply call it quits and file bankruptcy? – Thank you, DT

Before I proceed, I do want to remind you that I am not an attorney or accountant and I do not write for the purpose of dispensing legal or tax advice.

Short sales can take a long time, the process is loaded with so many variables, and if you have an experienced short sale agent on your team you should be able to change your mind at any time up until closing if you have worked out a loan modification, deed-in-lieu or some other agreement that you feel better suits your situation..

So, if you start down the road to a short sale and the bank doesn’t give you an offer that you like, you do not have to take it. There are many crucial areas that need to be negotiated and explained to you and that is where having an experienced short sale agent can be the difference between getting rid of a property through short sale versus having to file bankruptcy.

So my final answer to “DT” is: Your situation is tricky…how were the properties titled? Who is on the mortgage as well as the note? Are there other liens against the properties? A Short sale MAY be in your best interest. If it is determined that a short sale is the best way to go work with somebody who knows how to short sale properties and avoid bankruptcy if possible. Remember, you are not alone, there are millions of other people who have or will be dealing with very similar issues. Fix your problem today by meeting with somebody who really knows how to short sale real estate.

Of course, if you need to speak with somebody in Palm Beach County who knows how to short sale properties, just drop me a note or call me at 561.602.1258 and we can schedule a time to review your situation and explore all of your options.

Thanks for reading…Steve Jackson

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