Short Sales, Foreclosures and a Sense of Urgency

Saturday afternoon I received a call from someone facing an impending foreclosure who wanted details about a short sale.

“Should I contact the lender,” he asked. “Absolutely,” I said. And by the way, when is the trustee’s sale scheduled?


As in, this Thursday. As in five days away. And the seller just now was trying to figure out whether to short sell, file bankruptcy or just surrender.

The saddest part of all? He’s not alone. Far too many people ignore the problem for as long as they possibly can and only when it’s all to clear that their house is about to be lost do they look around and wonder what options there may be.

What was most distressing on this call, though, was the utter lack of urgency.

I offered to send him the short sale paperwork immediately so, with any luck, we could enter the short sale in Equator today or tomorrow and hope B of A will use that as a basis to postpone the Trustee’s Sale. He declined.

I offered him the phone number of an excellent bankruptcy attorney in town, Gary Ringler. He declined and said he’ll call someone on Monday.

The trustee’s sale is in four days and he’s unwilling to accept the help in front of him, fearful that somehow he’s being shunted into an obligation he doesn’t want. Okayfine. But really, what are the odds this individual who waited nearly six months to find help – the 90 days before the Notice of Default was filed and the 85 days that had passed since it was filed – is going to pick up the phone today?

B of A provides its homeowners a number of avenues to pursue to keep their homes and/or avoid foreclosure. Granted, not all of them are that spectacular – I’ve not heard many (or any) good things about the company’s modification process, for instance. But there are other programs, including one offering qualifying home owners up to $30,000 for moving expenses and the cost of eliminating a second lien when they short sell their homes.

And as lenders go, B of A right now is one of the easier to work with on a short sale as evidenced by my own experience and a listing closing this week.

There’s a huge surge of adrenaline that comes with the Notice of Default, usually hand in hand with a sense of dread. Use that adrenaline and put it to use – pick up the phone, get some help. And don’t wait until the week of the sale to do it.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at