Monday, February 4, 2013

What's Less Costly: Foreclosure or Short Sale?

Question: I have a mortgage with one bank and an equity line of credit with another bank. If I let my home go into foreclosure, can the bank sue me for the equity amount? How does this work? My mortgage balance is slightly lower than the value of my house. With the real estate prices down, if I put my home on the market for its market value, with all the additional fees and closing costs, I would have to make an investment into having it sold via a foreclosure.

Response: You are better off doing a short sale than letting it go into foreclosure. Foreclosure should always be the last alternative as it will most adversely affect your credit. Based on your description, both loans are secured by equity in your home, i.e., if the house sells for its market value or even less, both lenders will be able to obtain what is due and owing to them. However, if you are concerned about putting money out-of-pocket, then consider a short sale since the bank will pay for all sale-related expenses and even offer you money to do a short sale, if the house is your primary residence. However, to answer your question specifically, the lender that gave you an equity line is unlikely to go after you because based on the description you provided, they will likely get their money (ex: if the house sells for its market value, the first lender will get what is owed to them, the balance will go to the second lender, and if anything is remaining, you can even claim the rest).

In the legal blog, Attorney Svetlana Kaplun addresses typical questions our firm has received from our clients, or come across from homeowners related to foreclosure, foreclosure defense, loan modification and bankruptcy topics.

The information contained in the legal blog of Attorney Svetlana Kaplun is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as a legal advice on any subject matter. Please read our full disclaimer or contact the Law Office of Svetlana Kaplun, P.C. by telephone at 718-444-1115 for more information.
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