The following is not to be construed as legal advice. Consult an attorney.
First, it depends on which state the property is located. There are some states with anti-deficiency statutes that preclude banks pursuing the remaining balance on the loan (the legal term for the remaining balance is “deficiency”). However, anti-deficiency statutes are not common, so this question will often require another level of analysis.
Next, it will depend on the investor of the loan. Loans that are backed by Fannie, Freddie, FHA, and VA will allow for a full waiver of a deficiency upon completion of the short sale and full compliance of the terms of the short sale approval. However, there are some narrow exceptions that may require the seller to make a cash contribution at closing to offset a sum of the outstanding balance in order to be granted a full waiver of the rest. These requested cash contributions are the exception to the rule and can even be countered by the seller in some circumstances.
Finally, if a private investor has backed the loan, the waiver of deficiency will depend on that particular investor’s policy. Some privately held banks will negotiate the deficiency on a case-by-case basis. Although policies can vary, most of these private banks will primarily focus on the seller’s financial position in determining whether to waive all or part of the deficiency.
However, time is of the essence when the foreclosure process begins, so you must act quickly. A qualified attorney should be involved in the transaction immediately!
- Have a genuine drive to succeed in the process– A motivated seller is far more likely to receive a favorable outcome than one who is unmotivated.
- Have a team of professionals experienced with short sales working with you– Including a real estate agent and attorney.
Take care of your property– The condition of the home is your responsibility until the closing is complete!