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Short sale process aborted, foreclosure instead for Beaufort Park

A short sale in real estate provides a way for a South Carolina property owner to sell for less than the amount owed on a mortgage. While a short sale requires the approval of the lender, the sale can often save both the lender and borrower additional fees and expenses that might arise in foreclosure. The difference between the sale price and the amount owed the lender is called the deficiency, and that amount is technically still due to the lender unless there is an agreement to waive it.

A commercial property that was the subject of a proposed short sale was instead foreclosed on and auctioned off at the Beaufort County Courthouse on Nov. 7. South Carolina Bank and Trust, one of the lenders on the underlying mortgage, purchased the property for $2 million. The 165-acre business park was purchased in 2006 by the Lowcountry Economic Network with a $2.6 million interest only loan. Because the amount of the foreclosure sale was for less than the total remaining amount due, the lenders may be entitled to a deficiency judgment against the property owner.

Previously, Beaufort County made an offer to buy the property through a short sale for $1.5 million. The lenders rejected the offer, however, and the foreclosure proceeded to sale. The $2 million bid does not constitute a final purchase, and other potential buyers have 30 days to submit higher offers.

While it is not yet known if a higher offer will be made or what the intentions of the lender are concerning pursuit of a deficiency judgment, the matter underscores the necessity for experienced legal assistance. Short sales and the foreclosures can be complicated and intimidating for the average property owner. A South Carolina attorney experienced in commercial real estate law may offer support and help negotiate favorable terms.

Source: The Island Packet, "Beaufort Commerce Park auctioned off for $2M," Grant Martin, Nov. 7, 2011

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