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Do I Need a Lawyer for a Short Sale?

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What Is a Short Sale?

An alternative to a foreclosure is a short sale. Even though you may go through a short sale with a real estate agent, a lawyer can do the sale for you and help you assess your future liability.

A short sale occurs where you are delinquent on your mortgage payments. Moreover, the mortgage lender is allowing you to sell your property for less than what it is worth, with the understanding that all of the proceeds will go to the mortgage lender. After the sale, the mortgage company will lift its notice of deficiency against you.

Short sales are a method for homeowners to avoid a foreclosure against them.

When Do You Need a Lawyer?

A lawyer is useful where you believe a deficiency judgment will be entered against you, where you need help understanding a short sale agreement, and where you believe a foreclosure will happen anyways. In extreme cases, short sale fraud.

In some cases, a deficiency judgment may be entered against you even after a short sale. The deficiency judgment is normally for the difference between what you owe the mortgage company and the short sale proceeds. In those situations, a lawyer can help you get rid of the deficiency judgment or negotiate a lower amount.

If you believe a foreclosure will happen regardless, a lawyer can help prevent it or defend you.

Consulting a Real Estate Attorney

Even if you want to use a real estate agent, it is wise to set up a free to low cost consultant with an experienced real estate lawyer. He is well verse is real estate law and potential financial liability. Moreover, he may help you reduce your liability and assess the cost-benefit of a short sale.

Photo of page author Mabel Yee

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 08-03-2015 11:02 AM PDT

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