Selling Your Property

From the time of the foreclosure crisis until the COVID-19 pandemic, most homeowners were “underwater.” If they wanted to sell their home, they needed approval for the lender to issue a satisfaction of mortgage in exchange for a reducted or “short” payoff. This is called a short sale, and it may involve a reduction or waiver of deficiency.
But sometime during COVID, the paradigm shifted. Most homeowners no longer find themselves “underwater.” They no longer owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth. Rather, they have equity and this opens a new possible resolution that was not previously available.

In addition to being foreclosure defense trial and appellate lawyers, we are also real estate closing attorneys and title agents. So if you want to sell and cash out on the equity in your home, we can help you contract with a Realtor to list the home, get it sold, and we’ll gladly serve as your lawyer throughout the process. In Miami-Dade and Broward, buyers generally chose the title agent. So in those transcations, we serve as the seller’s attorney. Under most form contracts, sellers are obligated to prepare “seller’s docs.” That includes the deed, bill of sale, closing affidavit, and more. We can prepare all of that for you. Plus, we be by your side througout the transaction and, among other things, we’ll make sure title is transfered out of your name and that you get every penny your are entitled to receive.

In Palm Beach county (and in many other counties throughout Florida), it’s common for the seller to select and pay for the title agent. Among other things, the title agent runs a title search and helps issue a title insurance policy to the new owner and lender, if any. We can help with that as well.

If you want to sell your home because you can no longer afford the payments, need to move to a new location for career or family reasons, or if you are just open to the idea of selling your home, getting away from the debt, and starting over, a sale may be the answer.

Generally, sales are a preferable alternative to foreclosure. The best way to explore this is to contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood real estate lawyer, like Evan M. Rosen. The lawyers and staff in our office provide comprehensive and dedicated legal representation to clients who are facing financial challenges with their mortgage and who want to sell their homes. Sales are just one of many avenues we can help you to explore. In every case, we will put your interests and needs first.

We will review your financial situation, help you to formulate a plan of attack for resolving your mortgage problems, and fight vigorously to protect your rights and create leverage to increase the odds of resolving your situation with favorable terms. You are welcome to read more about short sales and traditional sales below or you can contact us now for a consultation by calling 754-400-5150 or by filling out our online form.

Understanding Short Sales

A short sale happens when a home is sold for less than the full balance owed on the mortgage. Normally, when a home is sold, the mortgage lender is repaid in full on closing day from the proceeds of the sale. If a house sells for less than what is owed, the borrower would have to bring cash to the table to close the deal and pay off the lender. Unfortunately, many borrowers do not have the extra cash. And the ones that do, often need it for other personal or financial goals. A short sale provides a solution.

But, it is important for the homeowner to make sure certain protections are included in the short sale agreement. Homeowners may also wish to explore their eligibility for cash incentive. There have been various news stories regarding homeowners who have received as much as $40,000 to complete a short sale.

At the Law Offices of Evan M. Rosen, we understand what terms must be in a short sale agreement to provide necessary protections to homeowners. We will work with you and your bank to draft an advantageous short sale agreement that best protects your interests. We can also assist you in finding a real estate agent who specializes in short sale arrangements to help make the transaction as smooth as possible. This can make it easier for you to find a buyer, negotiate with a lender, get the deal done, and move on with your life. Our office can assist with every step of the process, from contracting with the Realtor and negotiating the short sale terms to closing the transaction.

Negotiating a Short Sale Agreement

When negotiating a short sale agreement, there are a few essential issues that the homeowner must address with the lender in order to be protected. These issues include:

  • Deficiency judgments – Florida is a recourse state, so mortgage lenders that do not recover enough from a foreclosure sale to fully cover the principal and costs due on the mortgage can pursue legal action to get additional money from homeowners after foreclosure. This is typically done at the end of a foreclosure in an evidentiary hearing on a motion for deficiency judgment or via a separate lawsuit. You do not want to give the bank an opportunity to come after you in court for the difference between the money obtained from the sale of the home and the balance owed, so you should negotiate a waiver of deficiency in which the bank gives up that right. But there are also tax implications that need to considered in deficiency waivers. We can help you explore all of this.
  • Cash to close – Typically, if your home sells for less than the mortgage balance, you would need to pay the difference at closing. We can help negotiate with the bank to get them to agree to your not having to pay anything to close the sale of your home. The bank must agree to accept the resulting payoff based solely on the fair market value, after deducting for standard closing costs and fees, as full satisfaction of the mortgage loan. Under Florida law, the bank then has sixty days to file a satisfaction and release of the mortgage lien in the public records.
  • Dismissal of any pending proceedings – If your lender has already originated foreclosure or other legal proceedings against you, you must negotiate for a dismissal with prejudice. If your case is dismissed with prejudice, the bank typically cannot pursue further legal action against you arising out of the mortgage loan.
  • Credit reporting – Foreclosure can have a major adverse impact on your credit, and a short sale is a far better option. Whenever possible, you want to negotiate with your lender to report positive information to the credit bureaus.
  • Tax issues – When debt is forgiven, banks and servicers traditionally have to send a 1099-C form to the IRS, reporting the unpaid balance as income. This can create a significant tax burden as you may be obligated to pay the IRS tax on the amount of the mortgage balance that was forgiven. We can help you by recommending tax professionals and participating in consultations to address how any potential tax liability can be resolved. While we cannot give tax advice, we can certainly steer you in the right direction and help you make an informed decision.

At the Law Offices of Evan M. Rosen, we understand how to negotiate these issues with your bank. We will do all we can to make sure your short sale agreement contains necessary protections so you can walk away from the home sale and move on with your life unencumbered. We can also help you explore all possible incentive programs that offer cash to cover moving and other expenses after a short sale.

Contact Our Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Short Sale and Florida Foreclosure Defense Attorneys Today

At one point, short sales were very common in Florida, but that doesn’t mean they are easy. It helps to have a trusted advocate on your side to take the stress out of the process and to negotiate a fair deal that helps you to transition out of owning your home without suffering financial loss. At the Law offices of Evan M. Rosen, we will work with you on short sales or other mortgage resolution options so you can achieve the best possible solution to your mortgage issues.

Contact us today at 754-400-5150 or through our online form to schedule a consultation to learn more.

Understanding Traditional Sales

For more on traditional sales, please review our real estate closings section of our website:

Contact us today at 754-400-5150 or through our online form to schedule a consultation to learn more.
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Mr. Rosen was recommended to us by our friends and we highly recommend him for his excellent service. He represented us in the matter of foreclosure defense. His comprehensive and detailed knowledge of Florida law, federal law, and ongoing relevant cases was key to building a robust and winning...

Jadwiga M.

In a few words, Evan Rosen saved my house. He got a final judgment in my favor. The judge gave the bank many opportunities (continuance of the trial even a mistrial) to solve all the issues that Evan Rosen will bring up to the judge (issues that were wrong with my case). In the end, his arguments...

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I am so grateful first to god and for the blessing of putting attorney Evan Rosen and his team of professional, in our lives. If you are going through a foreclosure and don't know what to do, I can honestly tell you that attorney Evan Rosen is the person to talk (855-55-Rosen) he takes his time to...

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