An accident combined with unemployment sounds like a financial hardship to me. The bank will require it to be thoroughly documented.
The article linked below tells you a little about the patience and risk tolerance required from a seller and the buyer in a short sale situation. My opinion of short sales for buyers? High Risk, Low Reward.
To sum up the article. 1. Buyer waits a long time for the bank to anything. 2. Buyer has to sign banks counteroffer that is full of anti-consumer clauses. 3. Buyer has to pay nearly full market value. (discount, if any is much tinier than you think it will be) 4. Bank can cancel the sale at any time up until close of escrow, with no consequence to the bank and no compensation to the buyer
In my not so humble opinion The reasons why the failure is above 80% are:
1. Many sellers don't qualify, they think that being upside down and hating it is enough.
You must also be undergoing hardship not of your own making. such as illness, unemployment or natural disaster. - this sounds like Joes situation.
2. Prospective buyers think that these are bargains, so very few buyers offer close to full market value. The banks will not approve sales at huge discounts, tiny discounts: yes.
3. The wait, 4. the paperwork, the wait 5. the anti-buyer addenda, the long wait 6. the uncertainty of the sale, still waiting 7. the perception, if not a reality, of bad faith dealing by the bank loss mitigation managers.
I linked below to an article in Broker Agent News by Steve Stovall. He gives a pretty good description of the short sale process, seller, property, paperwork, and buyer requirements
She was able to pull one payment together and they put her on a payment plan to get caught up. Would that help you in your situation? You can also ask them to lower your interest rate and many times they will do that. They would much rather work things out with you than to have another foreclosure on their books.
The lady I know that did this called and spoke to one gentleman in that department and didn't get things worked out. I told her to immediately call back and speak to someone else. She was fortunate enough to talk to a very caring gentleman who worked it out for her.
Sometimes you just have to swallow any pride that you have and "take the bull by the horns" and tell a perfect stranger your situation - some of those strangers have the power to help you!
Hope this helps!