What is Foreclosure?

If you are unable to pay your mortgage, or if you and your legal and tax consultants have determined that other options are not viable for you, a Foreclosure may be in your future.

Arizona is a non-judicial foreclosure state, meaning that your lender does not have to go to court to foreclose on a property. If you fall behind on your mortgage payments, your lender can send you a Notice of Trustee’s sale, at which the property will be sold to the highest bidder. If you receive a Notice of Trustee’s Sale, you have 90 days to work out a plan with your bank, bring your mortgage payment current (along with interest and penalties), or allow the house to be sold.

Under some circumstances, your lender may agree to delay the foreclosure sale (for example, if you are attempting to complete a Short Sale, or are working to bring your payments current). If you are attempting to keep the house, contact your lender—the more you communicate with them, the better you position yourself to ask for help from them.

If a foreclosure is in your future, you will need to arrange other living accommodations—keep in mind that any late payments on your mortgage will be reflected on your credit report and could affect a landlord’s decision to rent to you.

Most foreclosures remain on your credit report for seven to ten years, and it will be difficult to obtain a new mortgage during that time. Consult your tax and legal counsel regarding implications.

Unlike a foreclosure, which is a forced sale of the property by your lender, a Deed in Lieu is a mutual agreement between you and your lender. There may still be tax and legal consequences, so consult professionals in these areas before you decide to pursue any specific course of action.



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Selling Your Home

Short Sales | Foreclosures

Selling a home in today’s market requires an in-depth knowledge of the local market, as well as a broader understanding of where the real estate market is going.

I understand that local conditions can affect many aspects of a home sale, including the price and terms you are likely to negotiate. Keep in mind that online home valuation tools cannot identify local factors such as views, lot size, condition of the property, upgrades you may have made, or the intrinsic 'value' of a particular local market.

Depending on your particular circumstances, you may need to consider other options when selling your home. Please read on to learn more about your choices, and call me with questions!

Short Sales

Short sales have become a viable option in today's market, especially when you are facing a hardship - relocation for work, loss of a job, increase in family size, divorce, or other circumstance that affects you.


A short sale describes the sale of your home for less than you currently owe.  Because you must pay of any existing loans before transferring ownership to someone else, a short sale will require the cooperation and agreement of your lender.  Even if you are not behind on your mortgage payments, it is possible to successfully sell your home via short sale.


If you have a hardship and would like to sell your home, here are some suggestions:

  • Contact your lender!  Don't be afraid to call your lender and discuss your situation - if they hear from you, they are more likely to agree to a short sale and avoid the foreclosure process.
  • Ask your lender if they will pre-approve a short sale.  During this process, the lender agrees to accept a certain dollar amount in payment of your loan, and you know in advance what your home can be listed for to achieve this amount for the lender.  It also significantly speeds the approval process once you receive an offer.
  • Consider all your options.  Might your lender be willing to agree to loan modification?  Can you afford to continue paying your mortgage and save money in some other area?
  • Is there another option that will be better for you in the long term?
  • Consult with legal and financial consultants. 
Once you have determined this is the right path for you, you will need to complete some documents and collect others.  Your lender may ask for additional documentation, but the following list outlines some of what will be asked of you:
  • A third party authorization form, signed by you and forwarded to your lender.  This form allows your lender to speak with you real estate agent about your situation.
  • A completed and signed financial statement, detailing your income and expenses.
  • A hardship letter (signed and dated), in which you describe why you need to sell your home via a short sale.
  • Your most recent pay stubs.
  • Your most recent federal tax returns.
  • Your most recent bank statements.
Please note that your bank may ask you to send updated documents if the process takes more than a few weeks, and may request additional documents not listed here.

If you have more than one loan on the property (including a Home Equity line of credit), you will have to provide the information to the second lender as well, and both lenders need to approve the sale.

If you have not received pre-approval for the short sale, the process can take anywhere from 30 days to 6 months or more.

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Elizabeth Whitman, RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., Suite #100
Scottsdale, AZ 85255

T: (602) 373-8220
O: (480) 792-9500