Yes, there are still short sales and foreclosures. As a member of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, we are always required to attend important classes especially on issues that affect the public on home ownership.  Although short sales and foreclosure are issues which have been lingering for the past seven years, there are still homeowners who choose to ignore it.

Last April was my last short sale that I settled with the lender.  I thought I’m done because of real estate market stability we have right now.  Just a month ago, I had four listing appointments and all short sales.  What is going on?  Reality check, there are still a lot of homeowners who were not able to bounce back on their equities.  They used to be in ARM (Adjusted Rate Mortgage) or with loan modification for up to 5 years and now back to previous interest rate.  Now, they don’t have a choice but to do short sales.  The key is to come out and seek for help as soon as possible.  Buying time will not do any good and that will worsen your situation.  Not sure or still in doubt?  Ask your friends and families that did short sales for the last 7 years.  Ask somebody that did foreclosures and you will get first-hand information. I remember a couple of times clients called me whose home will be foreclosed in seven days.  Thank God, I was still able to save them by doing short sale.  That may not be the case for everybody and very slim chance it will work that way.  The big question is what homeowners did for the past 180 days or even more than a year to come up to this when there are lots of options available especially nowadays.  I shared this Q and A on foreclosure prevention in one of my article before and would like to share it with you again.  

Q: Who should I call and when?
A: NOW!!! As soon as you know you have difficulty and might miss a payment, contact your lender.  No need to wait.
Q: When does foreclosure start?
A:  Most of the time, when the loan is 72 days delinquent and no communication from the homeowner, lender usually refer the case to their lawyer or trustees to send notices to you.  It will escalate from that point until the actual foreclosure date.
Q: I received a lot of letters and phone calls offering to help me to avoid foreclosure.  I see a lot of advertisements on TV as well.  Can they really help me?
A: BEWARE!! There are a lot of scams going around targeting desperate homeowners like you.  Solutions too simple or too good to be true usually are.  Unfortunately, there are people who are trying to take advantage of your financial difficulty.

The following are tips in preventing foreclosure:

  • Don’t ignore the problem, the further behind you become, the harder the solution as you are running out of time for other options.
  • Avoid foreclosure prevention companies and do not pay any fees.  They will contact you promising to negotiate with your lender.  These maybe legal companies but they charge hefty dollars in return. Worst, they cannot do anything and you are back to square one.  Time is of essence.  Do not sign anything on firms that claim they will stop foreclosure immediately.  You could be signing over the title and you will end up as a tenant in your own home.
  • Contact a housing counselor and there a lot of resources out there.  These people will discuss your unique situations and will recommend the best route for you.   Contact a Realtor® if you think there is no other way so you can start with the short sale process as soon as possible.  So far, this is proven the best solution.

Some homeowners that I talked to are scared because of potential tax implications and paying the deficiencies because no more debt forgiveness.  Yes, Mortgage Debt-Forgiveness Program ended in 2014; however there is an Insolvency case when a homeowner does not have an asset more than the short sale property.  Talk to your tax professionals about this.

Short Sales are still here as long as there are homeowners who are in hardships, having difficulty paying the mortgage and property value is less than what you owe. Whether you, your friend or a family member are in this situation, please share this information to them.  It is always a great feeling to help.

  Note:  Jocelyn Porteria is a Realtor® licensed in VA. Top Producer of Fairfax Realty and earning Five-Star Reviews from her clients. She is a Certified Expert Negotiator and also earned a designation as an Accredited Staging Professional; ABR, Accredited Buyer’s Specialist; CDPE Certified Distressed Property and Short Sale Expert, For more info, visit her website at and on Facebook  Call her at 571-432-8335 or email at  for free confidential consultations.


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