The crash in housing prices and other economic forces have left millions of property owners "underwater" owing more on their mortgage than their property is worth. If you′re one of them, trapped in a home you can′t sell and pressured by mortgage payments, the situation can feel hopeless.
But you do have options. And giving up is not one of them. Whether you′re a homeowner or an investor, there are ways to get out of this mess before it bankrupts you. The first step is to arm yourself with full knowledge of all the alternatives available to you. You may be able to renegotiate loan terms with your bank, or short sell your home, or even rent the property out just don′t wait until it′s too late.
How to Sell a House When It′s Worth Less Than the Mortgage explains all of your options, helps you pick the best one for your situation, and shows you how to get it done step by step. Inside, you′ll discover the ins and outs of:
Estimating the real market value of your home
Understanding mortgage forgiveness and debt relief legislation
Putting together a short sale package to convince your lender to write down your mortgage
Finding a buyer yourself or using an agent
Negotiating new loan terms with the bank
Tapping into government aid programs
Surviving bankruptcy or foreclosure as a last resort
How Did So Many of Us End Up with Underwater Houses.
What Happened to Real Estate Prices?
Easy Money Home Loans.
When Lending Guidelines Loosened The Beginning of Our Current Problems.
Meet the Authors.
PART I OPTIONS FOR UNDERWATER PROPERTY OWNERS.
CHAPTER 1 Is Your Home Worth Less Than the Mortgage?
How to Estimate the Value of Your Home.
What Banks Want.
Introduction to a Short Sale.
Other Options for Underwater Homeowners.
CHAPTER 2 What Happens If I Walk Away from My Property?
Stop Making Payments, Move Out, Let the Bank Foreclose.
Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure.
How to Protect Yourself.
Your Losses Don t Stop with Foreclosure.
Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act.
CHAPTER 3 If You Are in Financial Trouble, Deal with Your Emotions First!
The Typical Mindset of People in Distress.
How It Feels to Be Trapped.
Putting Your Pride Aside The First Step to a New Life.
How to Get Free from Your Property and Get on with Your Life.
CHAPTER 4 Aggressive First Steps to Get the Highest Possible Price.
Try to Sell the Property Yourself before Calling a Real Estate Agent.
Using a Real Estate Agent.
What If My House Is Underwater but the Payments Aren t Late?
CHAPTER 5 Try a Loan Modification: Negotiating a Lower Monthly Payment with Your Lender.
CHAPTER 6 Government Programs and Mortgage Relief Organizations.
PART II SHORT SALES: HOW TO SELL A HOUSE WHEN IT S WORTH LESS THAN YOU OWE.
CHAPTER 7 The Short Sale Solution.
When a Short Sale Won t Work.
Short Sale Requirements.
Short Sales for Investment Properties.
How to Approach Your Bank.
How to Ace the Broker s Price Opinion.
CHAPTER 8 How to Put Together Your Own Short Sale Package.
Requirements for Financially Distressed Homeowners.
Requirements for Solvent Homeowners.
Putting the Package Together.
Sample Contract for Sale and Purchase.
Sample Comparable Sales.
Sample Pictures of Disrepair.
Sample Net Sheet.
Sample Investor Letter.
Sample Repair List.
Making Sure Your Package Is Complete.
Sample Short Sale Package.
CHAPTER 9 How to Work with an Ethical Investor to Short Sale a Property.
What Should an Investor Do for Me?
How to Negotiate with Investors.
CHAPTER 10 Closing Any Deal What You Need to Get in Writing.
Get Everything in Writing from the Bank, Investor, or Real Estate Agent.
What to Expect from the Closing Agent.
Check Your Credit after the Deal Is Done.
PART III OTHER OPTIONS AND ISSUES FOR UNDERWATER HOMEOWNERS.
CHAPTER 11 If Nothing Else Works, Consider Bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy How to Buy Time.
Will Bankruptcy Help or Hurt My Credit?
CHAPTER 12 Temporarily Renting Your Home.
Section 8 Program.
CHAPTER 13 Don t Go Broke Trying to Save Your House.
Don t Go Broke.
Living with Negative Cash Flow.
Living with the Emotional Stress.
CHAPTER 14 How to Rebuild Your Credit.
Credit Repair Services.
Steps to Rebuilding Your Credit.
Formula for Paying Off Credit Cards.
CHAPTER 15 Is There Life after Financial Disaster?
How Do I Avoid Disaster Again?
Will I Be Able to Invest Again?
Sharing Your Experience with Other Distressed Homeowners.
Consider Becoming a Real Estate Investor.