According to this New York Times article, Lenders More Open to Short Sales, mortgage lenders are trying to make the short sale approval process faster and easier. Short sales are real estate sales where the sale price of the property is less than the mortgage balance(s). According to the article, short sales became more difficult to get approved as the credit crisis deepened since the 2nd mortgage holders were typically unwilling to accept a large enough loss to make the sale go through. Now, it appears, that the 2nd lenders are willing to accept 5 to 10 cents on the dollar in order to satisfy their debt. According to a representative of Bank of America, they are willing to accept 5% for their 2nd mortgages and they expect 2nd mortgage holders to accept the same when Bank of America is the 1st mortgage holder. The Treasury Department has announced that it will increase incentives to mortgage lenders to work out short sales, but declined to comment on the details of those incentives.
All this means that short sales will become more common. However, this is not really new news since they were going to increase anyway due to the declining real estate values and worsening unemployment, which will increase the number of mortgage delinquencies.
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