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Posted: September 16, 2008 8:42 p.m.
Updated: November 18, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Benefits to short sale negative equity home

I am writing in response to the Aug. 15th column penned by attorney Hale Antico regarding the options homeowners have when needing to sell a home that has negative equity.

Contrary to the article, in a short sale you do not sell your house back to the bank. You sell it to a new buyer, and the lender agrees to accept less than the current payoff for the home.

A Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure is the instrument used to sell your house back to the bank at a reduced price.
For years the IRS tax code has erased the tax consequences for the homeowners as long as their assets are exceeded by their debts. The Mortgage Forgiveness Act is irrelevant for most homeowners I have encountered.
This is a matter to discuss with a tax professional.

Regarding the extremely hungry real estate agent seeking a commission, I wholeheartedly agree that you should make sure the agent is 100 percent focused on taking care of you and eliminating stress if you find yourself in this position.

In every short sale I have worked over the last year, the homeowner was able to live in the home-payment free for over a year and never needed to talk to the lender one time. In each short sale, there was no leftover debt, no roller coaster ride and no tax bill due to the IRS.

And when it is time to buy a home again, there will be no foreclosure on their credit telling the potential new lender they simply walked away from their obligation.

Rather, there will be a loan paid off via short sale due to extenuating market conditions. As a matter of practice, I have always insisted any client in a negative equity position consult with a bankruptcy attorney.

I just encourage them to consult with an attorney who is not too hungry seeking compensation. As with a real estate agent, I urge them to meet with an attorney who cares about them and their unique situation.

I can confidently say that for most folks I have met, they are better off doing a short sale whether they go through with bankruptcy or not.

They have an opportunity to live payment-free for an extended period. They have more control over when they move out. And they avoid the stigma of having a foreclosure on their record.

Patrick Abbott
Santa Clarita

Strickland's rhetoric condradictory

Last week the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters and Vote the Coast all joined together to expose Tony Strickland's dishonest claims about supporting renewable energy.

Does Strickland actually believe that by creating a phony company that he started with four political friends, existing only on paper and having no employees, he will erase his terrible voting record?

Strickland had one of the worst environmental voting records in the Assembly, voting against the environment 98 percent of the time. This is not just about Strickland lying about supporting renewable energy. This is about a man who thinks he can fool voters by creating a phony company to make it look like he cares about the environment.
In these difficult times when California's economy is struggling, we have a $15 billion deficit, we need education reform, affordable health care and more jobs, voters need to ask themselves whom they can trust to do the job - one whose votes back up their words or one whose votes belie their words?

Strickland once said, "Past performance is an indication of future performance." I couldn't agree more.His voting record shows us what his future performance will be.

That's why I'm voting for Hannah-Beth Jackson, who actually has the voting record to prove that she does support renewable energy and protecting our environment.

Jim McIntyre
Newbury Park


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