Below are some links to help you make those decisitions but just walking away from the property could be the wrong decision. I am not saying a short sale is always the best answer but in most cases it is better to do one.
â€œWe are way upside down and cannot meet the payments. We have elected to walk from the property.â€
Obviously your complete situation will not be known by any of the professionals responding to your question; however, most would agree a Short Sale is typically better than letting a property go to foreclosure. If you are going to consider this option you need to do so IMMEDIATELY, hereâ€™s why:
While there has been talk of an extension, The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 is set to expire at the end of this year. Should this Act not be extended and should your lender not foreclose before the end of this year you will very likely OWE INCOME TAX on the amount forgiven in the foreclosure action (debt relief is normally considered income in the eyes of the IRS).
â€œWhat is the next step?â€
First, the following blog post covers a new CA law that went into effect in July of 2011 regarding Short Sales. In my opinion, generally, most CA homeowners who are in a distressed situation would be better served by seeking a short sale as a solution.
"CA Senate Bill 458 Now Prohibits 1st/2nd Deficiency Judgments*"
Second, you may have more questions regarding your situation - engage a RealtorÂ® for assistance with your proposed Short Sale. Before doing so, I would suggest you visit the California Association of RealtorsÂ® website devoted to this subject located at http://www.shortsalescalifornia.org
You should be on record as having tried to work with them and vice-versa.
Keep a LOG of every conversation, who you talked to, and what was said.
You probably will not need this, but if you do.....
In your negotiations, you will ask the Bank to work with you, maybe do a modification, erasing the penalties and late fees. Ask them to reduce the interest rate and thereby the monthly payment.
After this fails, ask them if you can do a Short Sale: They will ask you for a HARDSHIP letter detailing why you have not been paying and what your prospects are for the future. You may want to involve your Realtor in this.
If they approve your Hardship and thereby the SS; you will LIST the property with the Realtor; the Bank may or may not give you input about the LISTING PRICE. They may or may not do a BPO (Broker Price Opinion) which is similar to an Appraisal.
Once you are approved and Listed, the Trustee Sale will be postponed and you will have a lot of time, maybe months to a year, to sell the house.
Your Reator will established communications with your Lender; they will request a letter from you authorizing the Realtor to have access to the private information on the account.
Next, SELL the darm place.
Hope this helps