Q: My wife and I have both had major reductions in our income over the last couple of years, and are in the process of trying to complete a short sale on our home. We have a contract with a buyer, and my mortgage lender has assigned a negotiator to my file. We submitted all the financial paperwork, hardship letter and other documents they requested, and the bank finally responded after several weeks. But their response was that they would allow the short sale to go through only if my wife and I would sign a promissory note agreeing to pay the bank $20,000 over the next 10 years.
We really can’t afford these payments on top of our other bills and housing costs, but we wanted to do a short sale so that we could look forward to buying a home again in a couple of years. If we don’t agree to the $20,000, the house will be foreclosed on. Should we agree to pay the $20,000?