If you are up-side-down on your home (owe more than it is worth) and are considering foreclosure or a short sale you need to know the ramification each option has.
If you purchased your California home in the past couple of years with 100% financing and the home is worth less than your purchase price foreclosure may be your best option. This may also only be true if you have NOT refinanced your home. You see, in California, in a foreclosure the bank has no recourse on your assets beyond your home (original purchase money only- does not apply to refinanced property). So if you want to walk from the house -give it back to the bank, the hit you take is on your credit rating for seven years.
Option 2 might be to sell your property and ask the bank to forgive the difference between your loan and sells price. Even if the bank will not forgive you the difference this is called a short sale. In a short sale your credit is not hit as bad as a foreclosure. However, the bank will likely come after your other assets AND (this is a big one) the IRS will tax you on any amount forgiven by your lender. Don’t forget when the IRS wants your money they get it.
If you want to refinance your property to keep the payments low that will be hard to do at 100% financing and it may take away the best foreclosure on original purchase money has to offer.Because this subject has such legal and financial ramifications if this article applies to your situation get professional legal (attorney) and financial (CPA) advice. Warren Carreiro warren@RealtyOfMarin.com www.realtyofmarin.com