Sorry to hear about your situation. Arizona is a non deficiency state. What does this mean?
To answer your question specifically regarding the deficiency on your mortgages that will be created with the foreclosure or short sale of your home, many homeowners/borrowers are not aware that Arizona is a "Non-Deficiency" State for short paid mortgages. This means that, unless there are specific issues in your loan agreement, which only your attorney can advise you on, the lender is prohibited by Arizona Statue 33-729 from pursuing a judgment against the borrower if the home has sold for a deficiency, an amount less than the mortgage balance due to a diminished value of the home (or secured property).
Specifically, Lenders are prohibited by Arizona Statute (33-729) from obtaining deficiency judgments in foreclosures where the land size is 2.5 acres or less and where the property was used as either a single one-family or single two-family dwelling. The actual language from the Arizona Statue follows:
Arizona Statute 33-729. Purchase money mortgage; limitation on liability
A. Except as provided in subsection B, if a mortgage is given to secure the payment of the balance of the purchase price, or to secure a loan to pay all or part of the purchase price, of a parcel of real property of two and one-half acres or less which is limited to and utilized for either a single one-family or single two-family dwelling, the lien of judgment in an action to foreclose such mortgage shall not extend to any other property of the judgment debtor, nor may general execution be issued against the judgment debtor to enforce such judgment, and if the proceeds of the mortgaged real property sold under special execution are insufficient to satisfy the judgment, the judgment may not otherwise be satisfied out of other property of the judgment debtor, notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary.
B. The balance due on a mortgage foreclosure judgment after sale of the mortgaged property shall
constitute a lien against other property of the judgment debtor, general execution may be issued thereon, and the judgment may be otherwise satisfied out of other property of the judgment debtor, if the court determines, after sale upon special execution and upon written application and such notice to the judgment debtor as the court may require, that the sale price was less than the amount of the judgment because of diminution in the value of such real property while such property was in the ownership, possession, or control of the judgment debtor because of voluntary waste committed or permitted by the judgment debtor, not to exceed the amount of diminution in value as determined by such court.
One option is to obtain a deed in lieu of foreclosure settlemen with your lenders. Another is selling your home in a short sale. t is my opinion that a professional short sale negotiator shoud represent you in working out a full release of the deficiency in writing to allow you to have "peace of mind" that the lender will not pursue payment for the deficiency. The lender is prohibited by law from doing so. However, if the borrower signs a separate note to he lender for the deficiency, that new note would govern the deficiency balance owed on the debt. A Realtor often does the negotiating for the borrower (and often are successful), but this is a complex issue. The bank's have professional "Loss Mitigators" that try to maximize the bank's return on a short sale to avoid an even larger loss in a foreclosure. You have the law behind to ask for a full release of the deficiency amount.
In my practice, I will bring in a negotiator that will be the advocate for my client in the short sale and will, if the home is sold at current market value, will obtain a deficiency release from the lender. My goal is to get the house sold at market value, the negotiator's job is to get the release for the borrower on the deficiency.
I hope this helps you.
Jeff Masich, RealtorÂ®
Arizona Homes and Land
HomeSmart Real Estate