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Are Loan Modifications Better Than Short Sales?

Todays Date: December 11, 2018

When you are a homeowner struggling with your mortgage payments you should understand the difference between a short sale and a loan modification. Both of these methods may help you get out of a foreclosure situation. They are dealt with in the same department of your bank by a loss mitigation professional. Homeowners should be aware that the approach you choose may have a very different results on your finances.

When you are considering a loan modification the bank will try to modify some of the conditions of your original loan. There are a variety of conditions the bank may want to change. That includes lowering monthly payments, reducing your interest rate or forgiving late fees and other penalties.

If you are looking into a short sale, you will actually sell your house. You will get your bank to agree to a sales price lower then what is owed on the mortgage. Once the the sale is completed, the bank will forgive the rest of the money owed.

Three benefits of loan modifications are:

1. The foreclosure proceedings will be stopped right away. You will be able to stay in your own home and not have to uproot your family. 2. By reducing your monthly payments you are giving yourself the chance to get back on your feet financially. 3. You are going to be able to control the damage done to your credit report.

Three drawbacks of loan modifications:

1. The reduction of your monthly payments might not be enough to completely free up your cash flow. 2. If you miss any payments on your modification agreement, then your lender could begin foreclosure proceedings again. 3. Your lender may offer modified payments only for a short period of time. This means the payments may go back up in the future, which could increase financial stress if you’re not prepared.

Advantages of doing a short sale:

1. A short sale will allow you to get out of debt rapidly. You will not have to deal with monthly mortgage payments and you can have the chance to get back on your feet financially. 2. If your house is worth much less than you owe to your lender, a short sale is probably the only way you can sell your house and get out from under your debt. 3. Most lenders will not come after you for any loss they experience from a short sale. Your debt gets eliminated completely.

Disadvantages of short sales:

1. Your lender may report the forgiven portion of your mortgage to the IRS. This could mean you face a tax liability next year. 2. Once your home is sold, you’ll need to move. Finding a rental property could be difficult if your landlord is sensitive to your delinquent payment history and damaged credit. 3. You won’t be able to apply for a new mortgage any time soon. Other lenders will be wary of customers with a history of having outstanding debts forgiven rather than repaying them.

There are pros and cons to both methods of stopping possible foreclosure. If you choose to go with a loan modification you will be able to stay in your home and repay your debt over time. Most homeowners prefer this solution rather than wiping out your debt with a short sale and starting from scratch.

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