Peoples First Denies Short Sale – Despite Cancer Diagnosis

I am writing about a very disturbing short sale situation.  The property is a lot in Windswept Estates, a golf course community in Freeport, Florida.  The mortgage is held by Peoples First, “Florida’s Community Bank”.  After several months of price reductions on my seller’s lot,  we finally got a short sale offer of $29,900- fair market value. The mortgage balance is $183,000.

My seller’s husband has just been diagnosed with kidney cancer, age 36.  She herself has lost about half of her income in the past year, as assistant to a financial advisor and another part time job.  Her charge card balance is around $60,000 – she used credit to keep making mortgage payments. She has struggled to make the interest-only payments on the lot – around $800 a month- as her partner, a real estate agent, has little income to contribute.

When my seller found out about her husband’s kidney cancer about a month ago, she stopped payment on the check she had sent to the bank. Peoples First called her when they received notice and left a voicemail message that the manager would be “furious” and would start foreclosing.

Today, Peoples First just told me they will NOT do a short sale, period.  When I talked to them I mentioned the diagnosis of kidney cancer, wondering how this woman could keep up with her payments.  I also  asked, “Why would your company not consider a short sale in this economy?”  I was told they had “not given any subprime loans, they were well-capitalized, and when they lent money, they expected to get it paid back“.  I said, “So you’d rather foreclose?”  They said “Yes”.

I then got a call from another party at the bank, who reiterated they don’t do short sales.   I mentioned I would write about the situation in my national blog.  I was told “I caution you not to do that.”

Well, guess what?  I am writing about it.

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