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Sarah Marie Litchney

Sarah Litchney’s Answers

60 total


  • My ex didnt cooperate with the short sale as agreed in our divorce decree and I cant afford to pay for the house, need advice.

    Recently my ex wife decided she wasnt "benefitting" as much from the people handling our short sale and the week it was to be finalized she refused to cooperate and we lost out on our opportunity. I can't afford to pay for my portion of the house ...

    Sarah’s Answer

    If it is in the divorce decree and settlement that you cooperate with the short sale then you should do that, but in most short sales since there is not any equity and typically there is a hardship situation (divorce is one of them) the borrowers stop paying so payment should not continue to be a hardship on you. However if for some reason the short sale is not approved or the house forecloses due to non-payment you should consult with a real estate attorney regarding any ramifications resulting from a foreclosure depending on your states deficiency laws.

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  • I understand it is unlikely that my heloc will foreclose. I owe $465K on the first and $86K on the heloc. The condo is

    appraised at $500K. My question is about the heloc suing me. What does this mean for me when I am living on social security and have no assets?

    Sarah’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The HELOC since it is a secured loan on the property cannot sue you until the house forecloses. If the HELOC forecloses on the property then under ccp 726a they are unable to come after you for any deficiency. If you are current on your 1st mortgage the 1st loan will not foreclose.

    Now if your condo continues to gain value and appraises to the point that your HELOC decides it is worth foreclosing on the property in order to get repaid while they can't sue you you will lose the condo. If your 1st is a recourse loan (refi'd or money taken out) you then may have an issue there with a lawsuit. You mention you don't have any assets or income other than SSI but a lawsuit and judgment or a foreclosure and lawsuit can still be annoying to deal with.

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  • I will be receiving a 1099C this year for a short sale. What is the amount in Box 2

    Besides the forgiven balance between the sale and the amount owed on the loan, what other costs are included as 'forgiven debt'? I assume the interest that would have been collected during that time, the property taxes, the commission paid to the...

    Sarah’s Answer

    The 1099-C will also contain the market value of the home and the forgiven amount is the difference between what you owed (including late fees, penalties, if there were any costs associated with the pre-foreclosure process) and what the bank ending up netting after the short sale. The amounts associated with the sale (commissions, property taxes, title, escrow, etc) will be deducted from the sales price of the home and these amounts will be added to the amount that was forgiven.
    As far as dealing with the 1099-C on your taxes you need to see a qualified tax professional (CPA or tax attorney) who is used to dealing with 1099-C on short sales, particularly with rentals.

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  • Can I be held rent responsible even if my lease is up because i did not sign a 30 day notice?

    When i payed rent on the first i told the apartment manager it was our last month and i was not told to sign a 30 days notice. I have just been informed of it and its two weeks into the month so im being told i will be rent responsible for the fir...

    Sarah’s Answer

    You need to review your lease carefully with regard to termination or renewal and look for any notice requirements with regard to termination of the lease once it extends beyond its fixed term.

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  • Prefer direct buyer over the real estate agent legal?

    I am a sell-by-owner person trying to sell my home in Orange County, California. As a matter of fact, I prefer the direct buyer over the agent, for saving the commission fee. My question is that is it legal if I only consider the offer made ...

    Sarah’s Answer

    I understand about wanting to save on not paying commissions but those commissions are paid to agents for good reason, there are hundreds of pages of legal documents, disclosures and agreements. These include contracts with legally binding clauses and timelines. It would be in your best interest to have someone assist you with these documents so that you make sure you are protected once the sale closes from potential lawsuits from the buyer. I get calls weekly from buyers who want to sue the seller of their property for typically non-disclosure issues.

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  • .My seller said no to disclose negative thing..I withdrew from being his agent. not part of this transaction; I liable?

    If the buyer should find out I knew something negative about his property after close; could he claim I should have told him. I did not represent him: just the seller. I did email both the seller and the buyer's agent and urged them to make my r...

    Sarah’s Answer

    Agreed it sounds as if you made your recommendation in writing to the buyers agent so the buyer cannot claim they had no knowlege and can now do their due diligence in following up with the seller.

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  • I want to add my spouse's name to a property that I own solely and got a reverse mortgage before our marriage. Can I? How?

    My first wife passed away. After her death, I became sole owner of our home. I obtained a reverse mortgage on my home. I am now 75 and my new wife is 57. Can I add her name to the deed? If not, what can I do to protect and provide for her in this ...

    Sarah’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Estate planning by way of adding a spouse onto a deed is not the best route to take and can have a series of bad and unintended consequences. You need to see an estate planning attorney in your area and get a living trust (most likely) or will set up and provide for disposition of your assets to your spouse when you pass.

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  • Would a judge in MDade county have jurisdiction to force a short sale on a property owned by two people?

    I have 50% ownership on a property that is in foreclosure. The other owner does not want to cooperate with the payments needed. My son has money to buy the house from "us" via a short sale but the other owner will not accept this He wants the pr...

    Sarah’s Answer

    The other attorney is correct in that a Judge will not force the other owner to short sale the property unless it was part of a divorce settlement and order. The other issue here is that you are attempting to short sale the property that you own to a relative, which is in direct violation of a document called an arms length transaction. Most lenders will require you, the buyer and any agents involved to sign this under penalty or perjury and simply put it prohibits relatives from purchasing the property as well as having any personal or business relationship with the buyer. To sign this document and violate the terms is mortgage fraud as well as mail and wire fraud and they do pursue these cases. If you want to short sale the house and you can get the owner to agree you need to check if your lender will require this document and if so you will need to market it to buyers who you have no relationship with.

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  • My former boss bounced multiple pay checks. Can I be reimbursed plus costs and damage to credit?

    I haven't worked for this man in nearly 18 months and despite phone calls and registered letters sent to him by me, and despite his promises to take care of it immediately, I am now being taken to court by the grocery store where I cashed my check...

    Sarah’s Answer

    It depends on the wage and hour laws in your state but most likely he can be held responsible. You need to seek out an employment law attorney or the labor and employment department in your state.

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