Bank of America’s Latest Bluff – Watch Out for a Short Sale Approval Letter that Reserves the Right to a Deficiency Judgment
Make sure you have an experienced foreclosure defense attorney read your short sale approval letter before you agree to close. An alarming new trend is confronting underwater homeowners facing foreclosure in Miami and South Florida. Even if you do everything right to short sell your property, Bank of America may still want its deficiency judgment.
This week, Bank of America was foreclosing its a $1.2 million mortgage on a South Beach condo. The borrower got an approval letter for a shortsale at $750,000.00. However, there was a catch. The approval letter reserved the right for Bank of America to pursue a deficiency judgment. This result helps the bank a whole lot more than the borrower.
Don’t be mistaken, the worst thing in a foreclosure is not losing your property. It is getting hit with a deficiency judgment after losing your property. A deficiency judgment is given when the amount you owed was more than the appraised value of your property at the foreclosure sale. In my situation, the borrower still faced a $450,000 deficiency judgment if the short sale closed under that approval letter.
A strong foreclosure defense is vital to ensuring the best possibility of avoiding a deficiency judgment from an underwater mortgage. By forcing the bank to mediation, they had to assign a bank officer with decision making authority to resolve the case. That officer realized it wasn’t worth the money to fight through a hotly contested foreclosure. The decision actually came down an hour before mediation. The Bank agreed to amend its short sale approval letter and waived its right to a deficiency judgment.
If you are interested in a short sale or can’t afford to keep up with your mortgage payments for long, negotiate from strength. Don’t trust a lawyer who fights traffic tickets to fight your lender. Find an experienced trial attorney that knows how to negotiate with Banks.