Q&A: Bank blows its own short sale deadline

In a short sale, your lender is accepting less money than it is owed to release your property from its mortgage.

QUESTION: I'm buying a short sale. After I submitted the application, the seller's bank told me I could expect an answer in 30 days. But that date has come and gone with no answer yet. It's an all-cash offer for market value. Doesn't the bank have to follow its own deadline and at least give me an answer in the time frame it set?


ANSWER: You would think so, but that's often not the case. When working with a lender in any sort of loss mitigation, it's imperative to follow up politely, but incessantly, even when asked to wait a certain amount of time.

If you are asked to wait for a month, follow up weekly to make sure the lender has everything, and the process is moving forward. Once the deadline is missed, contact the lender every day or two. Remember that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, but also remember you are dealing with actual people who will naturally want to help you more if you are polite and professional rather than rude and nasty.

Also remember that while the lender usually won't meet its own deadlines, don't miss any of yours – or the short sale likely will be denied and you will have to start over. You really need large helpings of patience and stick-to-it-iveness whenever you're working to complete a short sale.



Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He is the chairperson of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is an adjunct professor for the Nova Southeastern University Paralegal Studies program. Send him questions online at http://sunsent.nl/mR20t7 or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.

The information and materials in this column are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in this column is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.


(c)2014 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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