Home Girls: Foreclosure Alternative - The Short Sale, part 3 "The Disadvantages"

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Provided by Home Girl Nan Skinner,
Keller Williams Real Estate


Foreclosure Alternative: The Short Sale (part 3)

Disadvantages of a short sale process


Your credit score will take a severe hit. But that would happen anyway with a foreclosure. Fair Isaac, creator of the FICO score, says foreclosure and short sales have virtually identical impacts on your credit score. VantageScore—a company that has created a credit score model for consumers—says a short sale will lead to only a marginally lighter hit when compared with foreclosure.

You may owe additional taxes. In the past, if your outstanding mortgage was $100,000 and your lender accepted a short-sale purchase offer of $90,000, you were liable for income tax on the forgiven $10,000, says Harlan D. Platt, economist and professor of finance at Northeastern University in Boston. However, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, which runs through 2012, generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence in some circumstances. Full relief is available only if the amount of forgiven debt doesn’t exceed the debt that was used to acquire, construct, or rehabilitate a principal residence. Consult a tax professional and an attorney to minimize or avoid this liability.

In some states, your lender may still be able to come after you for the difference between the short sale price and the amount needed to pay off the mortgage. Your actual agreement with your lender and state and local laws and regulations spell out the details. Consult a tax professional and an attorney to minimize or avoid this liability.


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