updated 11/3/2010 11:16:55 AM ET 2010-11-03T15:16:55

IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 3, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Attorney Timothy G. McFarlin of McFarlin & Geurts LLP, a full-service law firm representing businesses and consumers in California, Utah and throughout the United States, today outlined benefits and challenges of property short sales. According to the U.S. Treasury, by June 2010 short sales were up 126% from a year earlier. McFarlin offers clarity on what can often be a confusing process.

A short sale is the sale of real estate where the owner owes more to the bank than a property is worth. Homeowners experiencing financial hardship often turn to short sales to avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy. On the other end of the spectrum many investors are eager to buy short sale properties because they can be bargains. As a real estate law pioneer, McFarlin can help clients navigate the often tricky and fast-moving short sale transaction.

"A short sale can be a welcome reprieve for homeowners who find themselves upside down on their mortgage and who also may be experiencing financial hardship," said McFarlin. "On the other hand, those looking to buy homes at a bargain should know there could be a high price to pay. The process of locating and buying -- along with working through all the legal and emotional complications -- is not for everyone. That said, I've worked in the industry long enough to simplify the process for clients on both sides of the equation."

Short sale benefits for sellers:

  • Working out an arrangement with the lender avoids any legal action by the lender later.
  • Often the property value is so far below what is owed, it becomes clear that value may never come back.
  • Selling at a short sale helps both homeowners and lenders get a fair price for the property and liquidate a declining asset.
  • Avoid foreclosure, stay out of public record filings.
  • Possibly avoid bankruptcy.
  • Wrap up a bad investment with no loose ends or lingering liability.

Short sale challenges for buyers:

  • Not all short sales are bargains, and assuming so is a dangerous approach to investing.
  • A short sale usually means that the home has decreased in value since the last sale, and may be in a declining market.
  • Short sale homes are sold as-is without any representations or warranties from the lender, so a thorough inspection is advisable.
  • It can take much longer to close a short sale transaction because the lender must approve all aspects of the deal.

The right lawyer can also help sellers and buyers understand the complexities involved with IRS reporting and choosing the right agent. McFarlin encourages all parties to enter the process with their eyes open.

For more information please visit http://mcfarlinlaw.com/ or dial 888-728-0044 for a free consultation.

About McFarlin & Geurts LLP

McFarlin & Geurts LLP is a full service law firm representing businesses and consumers in California, Utah and throughout the United States. Areas of practice include both litigation and transactional matters, in federal courts as well as state courts. The firm is committed to providing clients with superior legal service with integrity and giving each client the personal attention they deserve.

McFarlin & Geurts strives to reach a positive outcome for clients' legal or transactional matters by implementing a philosophy of practical and effective representation. Placing clients' needs at the forefront of all engagements is the firm's top priority -- with a goal of conserving client resources wherever possible without sacrificing quality of service. For more information or a free consultation, please call (888) 728 0044.

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