Short sales, mods give investors grief

Multiple assets make qualifying for help a challenge

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DEAR BERNICE: I have two investment properties in Hawaii. I paid $500,000 for them and now they're worth $725,000 ($350,000 and $375,000). I owe about $379,000 on one and $399,000 on the other. The rental income has gone way down (from $6,500 per month to $3,500 per month.) The dues are very high. Do you suggest trying to do a short sale or should I go for a loan modification? --Rich S. DEAR RICH: To obtain a short sale, you generally have to demonstrate hardship. Since these are both investment properties, it's highly unlikely that you will get a loan modification from a lender. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, less than 3 percent of all applicants are approved for a loan modification. The most important step that you can take right now is to talk to a certified public accountant (CPA) or a tax attorney. Since these are investment properties, different rules apply to their sale and how the losses are treated. There are a variety of iss...