6 years....I pay an attorney to work with me on short sales to negeotiate a settlement without a judgement with
the bank if possible. the bank pays my commission and I pay the attorney from my side of commission.
Worst case scenario, if they come after you for a sufficiency, then you either negotiate a payoff plan or file bankruptcy to make it go away. Awful things happen to hard working people, but that's why we have the bankruptcy laws so folks can start over.
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As far as your other assets go- that really depends how everything is set up.
Best of luck. I deal with short sales everyday and know how stressful it can be.
Been late 90 days, at this time your lenders might have already reported you late to the credit companies, but a short sale affects the credit less then a foreclosure in a short sale your credit report will reflect late and a deficiency satisfied, but you will be able to work that out within a period of two years, A foreclosure stays in the credit report for a period of seven years in UT, but in the other hand if you declare bankruptcy for the deficiency that also will stay there for seven years as well.
The banks handle deficiencies depending in financial situation of each borrower, they will require a financial statement (verification of expenses vs income, assets etc, etc.).
You will also receive a tax form 1098/99 with deficiency as capital gains, ( government its working on the eliminating this)
Many "investors" and agents may approach with programs that will save you and your income, etc.... Avoid these like the plague and go to the professionals that will give you true legal advice. Be careful!
First off here in Georgia you have to qualify for a short sale, not every one is eligible. You will have to check with the local laws there but in order to qualify for a short sale here the seller can not have more than $ 2500 in assets including 401k plans. You will net zero on a short sale, so do not be looking to make money that route.
Of course a short sale will not hurt your credit as much as a foreclosure will but it sounds like you may not have much of a choice. A short sale also means that if you have a first and a second loan, then the first lender will have to try to work with the second to see if they can get the deal done.
In most cases, if you do foreclose you may not be able to purchase another home for another 3 to 4 years.
My best advice to you would be to speak with a attorney to look at all your options.
Best of Luck!