You should contact an attorney to get clarification on your rights and options. Also, since you have not owned a home since 2003, should you buy the home, you would qualify as a first time homebuyer and would be eligible for the $8,000 tax credit. However, keep in mind that you must CLOSE by November 30th so time is certainly a factor and if the home is being sold as a short sale, you may not have that time available. There has been some rumors of the tax credit being extended, so I would talk to a real estate agent to see if that occurs. If you need a recommendation for a mortgage broker, I operate out of Loganville and could offer you some suggestions. Hope this works out for you. Good luck.