New Twist for Sacramento Short Sales With a Second Mortgage

Short sales with a second mortgageBefore I get started, let me say that I know agents in Sacramento who will refuse to work on short sales with a second mortgage. Yeah, that’s ridiculous. Sure, it’ s a little bit more work with two loans, and second mortgages on a short sale can throw a monkey wrench into negotiations if they are hard-money loans, but that’s the job of a Sacramento short sale agent, to make it work.

I used to believe that only a lawyer could negotiate certain types of Sacramento short sales but after doing them for almost 8 years, I don’t believe that anymore. In fact, many lawyers hire an assistant or clerk to actually process the short sale. There seems to be little hands-on involvement. Because of the volume I do, and my personal interaction, I hear new developments often before they become mainstream. That’s a benefit to hiring an experienced Sacramento short sale agent to do your short sale and not some recently licensed agent who sat through an online class or a lawyer who pawns off the work.

The new development with the second mortgages secured to underwater homes is some of them are vanishing. Yes, poof, gone. The seller no longer owes the debt. This is done without the seller’s approval, too. The bank simply releases the loan and forgives the debt.

At first I thought maybe they were releasing the loan but not reconveying the mortgage, as what happens in a bankruptcy before a short sale. In a bankruptcy, the debt is discharged and the seller is released from personal liability. However, the loan remains secured to the property in a bankruptcy and the seller remains in title. Some sellers end up filing a Chapter 7 thinking this will get rid of the house, and it doesn’t. Not only that, but some sellers might be better off just doing a short sale and forgetting about a Chapter 7, especially if their only debt is the house.

This is a good place to acknowledge that I have never heard a bankruptcy lawyer say to a qualifying client: don’t do a bankruptcy. That’s like asking a Sacramento real estate agent if you should sell your house or asking a hairdresser if you should cut your hair.

Why would a bank release a second mortgage? Partly due to the National Mortgage Settlement Act and a few other lawsuit settlements. You might wonder why do they care about hanging on to a worthless piece of paper that has no security anyway? So investors can question their assets? Yet, I’m still a bit amazed that banks are issuing reconveyances and letting sellers go.

In some cases, it might mean that the seller won’t even have to resort to a short sale if prices continue to go up. That’s pretty good news for Sacramento sellers. It also makes negotiating the short sale quite a bit easier when there’s only one lender. But it’s still not impossible to work on short sales with a second mortgage, and I do it all the time.

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