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Common short-sale hang-ups

Getting lender approval takes patience

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DEAR BERNICE: I have submitted five short-sale offers in the last month and haven't gotten an answer on any of them. What do I need to do to get these agents to do their jobs? --Jim D. DEAR JIM: Without knowing the particulars for each of your offers, it's hard to tell if the agents are doing their jobs or if the problem is elsewhere. When a bank takes less than the loan balance on a property, there are a number of complex steps they must take before they can approve a short-sale offer. This approval process can take as long as six to 12 months.The example below from Tim Burrell, a Realtor and an attorney who works with short sales in California and North Carolina, illustrates why short sales are so difficult: "I recently closed a short sale on a property in California. Lender A, the holder of the first and second trust deeds (instruments that secure the mortgage debt), told me that our application had a good chance of being approved. Lender B held the third trust de...