About Short Selling a House in Utah

What is a short sale in Utah? In today’s incredibly competitive home buying market, this is a question many prospective buyers and sellers may be asking. A short sale is when the lender permits the sale of a property for less than the outstanding loan amount owed on the house. In addition, the lender agrees to accept revenues from the sale that fall “short” of the remaining mortgage balance.

Why do lenders agree to accept less than the remaining balance on their loan? Many lenders consider a short sale to be a better option than foreclosure. Foreclosures are time-consuming and costly for the lender, so most are willing to accept a loss through a short sale rather than risk a more substantial loss through foreclosure. If you are facing the prospect of a foreclosure or short sale, we buy homes in Utah.

Short Sale vs. Foreclosure in Utah

Short Sale vs. Foreclosure in Utah

Short sales and foreclosures are similar because they are the two options available to homeowners facing financial difficulties. Both will negatively influence your tax return, credit score and report, and your chance of receiving a loan in the future. This, however, is where the similarities end.

The difference between short selling and foreclosure is vast. In the former, the lender allows you to sell your home for less than the amount owed and accepts the proceeds to absolve the debt. In foreclosure, the lender takes possession of the house against the owner’s will to recoup the amount owed.

Moreover, a short sale will have far less impact on your credit score than a foreclosure. Homeowners who short sell their home can often buy another house right away, although obtaining a second mortgage may be difficult. On the other hand, a foreclosure remains on your credit record for seven years, and you have to wait five or more years before you can purchase another home.

If you are faced with a mortgage you can’t afford, you have a third option. Consider cash home buyers Logan.

What Is a Short Sale?

A short sale occurs when your mortgage balance is more than your property’s market value. The house seller asks the lender to accept the amount they can sell the house for as payment instead of the entire amount due.

What Is a Foreclosure?

Foreclosure is a legal procedure that happens when you cannot make mortgage loan payments over an extended period. A Notice of Default is filed with the County Recorder’s Office by the lender following three to six missed monthly payments. After that, the lender takes ownership of the property and can do with it as they please. Most often, they choose to sell the property in an attempt to recoup their funds.

Pros and Cons of a Short Sale in Utah

Pros of a Short Sale in Utah

  • A short sale has less impact on your credit score than a foreclosure
  • You will be better able to obtain a mortgage following a short sale than after a foreclosure.
  • Avoiding foreclosure can benefit your psychological well-being.

Cons of a Short Sale in Utah

  • Finding a buyer for your property can take months. During that period, you’ll have to maintain the house’s curb appeal and interact with potential buyers. If you need to sell immediately, you can get a cash offer for your house.
  • Not all short sales result in forgiveness of the remaining loan balance. In some cases, you must sign a promissory note for the outstanding debt.
  • The IRS may regard the amount forgiven on your mortgage as taxable income. 

Laws of a Short Sale in Utah

To be eligible for a short sale, you must demonstrate that you are facing financial difficulty. Examples of hardship that may be considered adequate are losing a job or taking a salary cut, divorce, the death of a spouse, illness, or medical emergencies. In addition, your home must have a market value less than the amount owed on your mortgage.

To begin the short sale of a house, you must seek a settlement with the lender. In some cases, the settlement will require you to sign a promissory note for the difference between the sale price and the amount owed on the mortgage. If the lender agrees to forgive any of the loans, this can also incur financial obligations if the amount is deemed taxable income by the IRS.

While finding a buyer for a house short sale may be difficult, this is not the only hurdle. Once you receive an offer, the lender can decide whether or not to accept it. If the lender feels foreclosure will earn them more money, they may refuse the short sale offer. If this happens to you, consider one of these companies that buy houses in Salt Lake City.

Working With Real Estate and Closing Agents

Working With Real Estate and Closing Agents

Real estate agents specialize in buying and selling property. They often work closely with closing agents who focus on the documentation, financial, and legal aspects of the sale. Working with real estate and closing agents experienced in short sales can improve your chances of closing the deal. These professionals can help you list your home for sale, achieve a better than average closing cost, and manage all the documentation involved.

In the specific case of the short sale of a house, these agents can assist in:

  • Declaring your financial hardship
  • Gathering proof of your income and assets
  • Conducting comparative market analysis to value your home
  • Compiling a list of liens on your property

Will I Still Owe the Bank After a Short Sale?

Whether you can be held liable for the remaining balance on your loan after the sale of your home depends on whether your property is in a “recourse” or “non-recourse” state. Mortgages are typically recourse loans, meaning that the lender can seize the collateral and your other assets to recoup their funds if you default. 

Most states in the US allow recourse, but 12 states do not, and Utah is among these. This means if your lender allows you to sell your Utah home in a short sale, you cannot be held responsible for the remaining balance owed on your mortgage.

In states that permit recourse, whether you will owe money after short selling your house depends on if you signed a promissory note for the loan balance. If the note makes you personally accountable for the obligation, the bank may be entitled to a deficiency judgment after a short sale. 

Obtaining a deficiency judgment to recoup the remaining sum requires the lender to file a lawsuit against you. Luckily, since this litigation is costly, many debtors who execute a short sale to avoid foreclosure are not subject to a judgment. 

Furthermore, lenders generally only seek a judgment if they believe you have enough cash or possessions to pay back the loan. Since this is usually not the case when you short sell your house, seizure of assets is uncommon.

Regardless of your obligation to the bank, you may have to report the forgiven debt as taxable income. If the lender forgives your loan balance and sends you an IRS Form 1099-C, you are responsible for paying taxes on the reported amount.

The Bottom Line

A short sale helps absolve your outstanding mortgage debt while avoiding the devastating financial, psychological, and social effects a foreclosure can bring. In addition, this option helps preserve your credit so you can qualify for a future mortgage and avoid waiting years to buy another home. While defaulting on your home loan can be a scary prospect, a short sale can offer light at the end of the tunnel and a path to a more secure financial future.

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