Traditional Short Sale

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800.669.6650 Monday through Friday
8 a.m.-8 p.m. Eastern

Help is available in English,
Spanish, and many other languages.

Is a short sale right for you?

If you're looking to settle a home loan debt and prevent foreclosure, you may want to consider a short sale, which means selling the property for less than you owe. This may also be an option if you already have a buyer but don't yet have approval from the owner of the loan to pursue a short sale. Please call us to discuss your options. If you come to us with an offer without prior approval, we may be required to evaluate you for all programs, including a loan modification, before you can be eligible for a short sale.


You may be eligible if:

  • You have been evaluated but do not qualify for a loan modification
  • You're experiencing financial hardship, such as reduced income, medical expenses or divorce
  • You owe more on your house than it's worth
  • You can't afford the current mortgage payments
  • You're unable to modify the home loan, or don't wish to remain in the house due to other circumstances, such as a job relocation
  • You don't have prior approval from us to pursue a short sale
  • You've received an offer on the property

Next steps

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for sale

If you think you're headed for trouble making a mortgage payment, call us right away. We can evaluate the loan for many programs to see if there are options that may help you stay in your home. If a loan modification isn't possible, you may be eligible for a short sale. In a traditional short sale, you advertise and show the house and receive an offer before you contact us. We recommend working with a real estate agent experienced in short sales who understands the process.


Once you have received the most competitive offer you can get and before we can consider it, we'll need a completed Second-Lien Release for any home equity loan, lines of credit or other debts against the property. We can't move forward until we receive this document.

If you have a Bank of America home equity loan or line of credit, we'll take care of getting approvals for the short sale. If the loan or line of credit is with another lender, contact that lender and request a Second-Lien Release. The lender needs to provide this document and send it to you.

Contact us

If you're eligible, you may be able to start the short sale process right away. However, in most cases, it is required we evaluate whether you are eligible for a loan modification or other home retention options first.

Here's what you'll need when you call:

  • Loan and property information
  • Information on any foreclosure notices or dates you've received
  • Details of the offer and a copy of the signed purchase contract
  • Information on any home equity loan or line of credit on the property, if applicable
  • Information on a loan modification if the loan was considered for one
  • Details about your financial hardship

You'll be paired with a Customer Relationship Manager who will work with you throughout the process. When you call, we may verify that there are no other options available that would allow you to keep the property.


If we authorize you to start the short sale process, you can expect to hear back from us about the offer in approximately 90 calendar days after your real estate agent has submitted the offer and all documents to us. Please contact your Customer Relationship Manager at any point for an update or with any questions about the process.

During that time, we'll arrange an appraisal of your house (at no cost to you) to determine its current fair market value. Once that's determined, we may make a counteroffer. It's not unusual for potential buyers to withdraw offers all the way up until the closing, so during this time, we encourage you to keep the house up for sale.

When all necessary parties have accepted the offer, we'll provide you with an approval letter releasing the house for purchase.


When the offer is accepted, final documents will be prepared, and a closing deadline will be provided in the approval letter.

After the closing, the sale of the property is complete.

Once the sale is finalized, the mortgage and any other loans against the house are settled from the proceeds of the sale. Depending on who owns the loan, if the funds from a traditional short sale don't cover the amount owed on the loan, you may be responsible for paying the difference (also known as the deficiency).

If we forgive any amount of mortgage debt, there may be possible tax consequences. Please consult a tax advisor for more information about how this could affect you.

We'll report the sale to the major credit reporting agencies as completed for less than the amount owed.

What if I'm not eligible or get declined?

If you're unable to sell your house through a short sale, your next option may be a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

Call us


800.669.6650 Monday through Friday
8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Eastern

Help is available in English, Spanish and many other languages.