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New plan addresses short sales of homes to improve housing market

Charleston County residents might be interested in a new plan proposed by a U.S. Senator that, he said, would improve the housing market by addressing needed changes in the short sale process. A short sale is a real estate transaction which allows the owner to sell the property for less than what he or she currently owes on that property. Of course, the bank or lien holder of the mortgage must approve of the sale prior to starting the process.

The legislation, called the Prompt Notification of Short Sale Act, would require banks to respond to a short sale request in a timely manner when a prospective buyer is trying to purchase a short sale home. As many homeowners and buyers may know, it is a lengthy process to buy or sell a home in a short sale, sometimes lasting several months.

There are often long-term breakdowns in communication between the loan servicer and the buyer during the short-sale process that affects both the buyer and the seller. The buyer doesn't know if his or her offer has been accepted, countered or rejected, and it leaves both parties in limbo as to what the next steps are. When the home is not sold even though there is a demand for the property it only drags down the market.

The goal of the proposed bill is to improve this communication, which will also aid in our economic recovery which is dependent on the housing market recovering. It requires a written response from the loan servicer within 75 days of receipt of a request from a homeowner. It also provides both the buyer and the seller with some predictability throughout the process.

The short sale process can be extremely complex in today's challenging lending environment. If your family is facing a possible foreclosure and you want to learn what your options are for a short sale, consult with a real estate attorney experienced in the short sale process to learn what steps are required for a successful transaction.

Many Americans have been hit hard be the changes in the economy and through no fault of their own. It can be difficult for homeowners who are upside down in their mortgages to know what their options are and the legalities involved in either walking away from a mortgage or pursuing a short sale. An experienced real estate attorney is on your side and can help guide you through your options so you can make an informed decision.

Source: 19 Action News, "Senator Sherrod Brown unveils new plan for home "short sales"," Mar. 25, 2012

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