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More Homeowners Turning to Short Sales to Avoid Foreclosure

""National Short Sale Center"":http://www.shortsalecenter.com, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based company that assists lenders, real estate agents, and homeowners nationwide in short-selling properties for maximum value, has announced that short sales in 2008 hit an all-time high in Arizona, Nevada, California and Florida.
The trend toward distressed property sales is evident across the nation - 11.7 million homeowners who bought at the top of the market or put little to no money down now owe more on their homes than they are worth, according to a recent report from ""Zillow.com"":http://www.zillow.com. And, with a rising number of adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) on the verge of resetting, continued economic instability, and plummeting housing values, the Federal Reserve predicts that new foreclosures will reach about 2.25 million the next twelve months.
According to the National Short Sale Center, distressed property sales in 2008, including foreclosures and short sales, comprised 40 percent of U.S. home sales for the year. The company says it is receiving more than 3,000 calls per month from homeowners looking to avoid foreclosure and sell back their home to the lender for less than is owed on the mortgage, ultimately providing a greater yield for the mortgage servicer than carrying out the foreclosure process.
""In 2009, we’ll see a spike in foreclosure proceedings as many homeowners don’t understand—or are unaware of—their options,"" said Travis Hamel Olsen, president of National Short Sale Center. ""Short sales give homeowners a way to avoid foreclosure that can help save their credit from serious damage.""
In response to the mortgage meltdown, the government has been stepping in, but according to recent federal studies, loan modification programs don’t seem to be working. More than half of homeowners whose loans were modified to avoid foreclosure fell delinquent within six months, a report released this month by the ""Office of the Comptroller of the Currency"":http://www.occ.treas.gov/ (OCC) said. And so far this year, ""RealtyTrac"":http://www.realtytrac.com reports that more than 78,000 Americans have had their homes repossessed. As a result, short sales are becoming more common as lenders and mortgage servicers open up their own short sale departments to help ease the enormous increase in requests, the National Short Sale Center said.
""Homeowners need to know their options,"" added Olsen. ""They don’t have to just let the home go back to the bank. There is a way to escape foreclosure.""
National Short Sale Center acts as a neutral third party between homeowners and mortgage servicers to arrange short sales. According to a press statement by the company, it is the nation’s largest and longest-established short sale company. National Short Sale Center streamlines the short sales process by negotiating between real estate agents and lenders and handling all of the necessary paperwork for the transaction.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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