While the real estate market has been improving, many homeowners are still “upside-down” or “under water” – they owe more on their mortgages than their homes are actually worth. Others are behind on their mortgage payments because their adjustable rate mortgages adjusted unfavorably. Of course, others lost their jobs or became sick or injured and can no longer afford their mortgage. For some homeowners in this situation, a “short sale” may be the solution. If you’re under water, concerned about foreclosure, or simply need to get out of a bad situation, discuss your options promptly with an experienced Chicago real estate lawyer.

A short sale is when the lender agrees to accept a loan payoff that is less than the full amount due on the mortgage. Yes, a short sale can adversely affect your credit score, but it’s not as damaging as a foreclosure or a bankruptcy. You need to prove a financial hardship in order for the lender to consider a short sale. If you have resources in your checking account and you’re merely looking for the lender to take the loss, then a short sale is not for you. However, when lenders have proof of a homeowner’s hardship, they often agree that a short sale is the right alternative.

In a short sale, the seller usually receives no proceeds from the sale; the lender pays all customary closing costs such as agent commissions, taxes, title fees, and lawyer’s fees. If you are “upside-down” in Chicago, Orland Park, Berwyn, Naperville, or elsewhere in the Chicago area, arrange to speak at once with an experienced Chicago real estate lawyer. If a short sale is right for you, a good real estate lawyer can help. If another alternative is more appropriate in your particular situation, an experienced Chicago real estate lawyer will explain that alternative and provide the advice and legal services you need. Help is available for struggling Chicago homeowners, but you must take the first step and make the call promptly.