Forclosure: Credit it not affected forever. "The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows the legal action of foreclosure to remain for 7 years from the date of filing." We've seen people purchase a new home after a foreclosure in 2-3 years. It can depend on the details of the foreclosure.
Also, in most cases they won't go after you for the deficency.
More details on the BOA program:
One big catch, you must approach BOA and get approved for the short sale before you have an offer.... more
You are able to search the public record yourself. It is "public" record, so the records in the courthouse actually belong to you.
However, if you don't know how to do this, I would suggest asking a title company if they can check this for you.
Since there are definate legal ramifications, I would recommend that you ask a real estate attorney since he would be able to 1) determine if a judgement has been filed 2) what would be the implications of such a judgement and 3) what actions you should take, if any, to protect yourself.
I would be happy to refer you to a real estate attorney or title company if you would like.... more