We closed recently on a short sale in Lake Peekskill, Putnam County that was a challenge with both the seller’s lender and the buyer. The details aren’t important; it took some hard work, patience, and even a bit of diplomacy because the buyer rejected the first proposed approval from the bank and we had to take another 6 weeks and get a revised approval the buyer would accept. No easy feat, but we got it done and closed.
One of the things that stuck with me was the sadness of the seller client when we first listed the house. The circumstances upset him terribly. He had always paid his bills. He felt like he had failed because his value had dropped and illness had caused financial challenges to the point where he couldn’t continue. The thought of defaulting on his mortgage was an anathema to him. He was very upset.
Almost 30 million people are upside down in this crazy market, and in the case of the vast majority, they did nothing wrong except live in an era where they got caught in the undertow of declining values. Had they lived in any other era, they would have enjoyed appreciation of their value and built equity. But not today. My client was not alone. But it still killed him inside a little to sell the house under those circumstances, and his attitude about making good on his debts spoke to the honor he had always lived his life by. It was difficult, but we sold the property for less than what was owed successfully, and he had no deficiency to haunt him after the closing.
These are heady times we live in, but I am gratified that in this client’s case, in spite of his adversity, we helped him avoid foreclosure and dispense with the property with dignity.