The Robbinses were seeking what is known as a short sale — when an owner sells a home for less than he or she owes the bank. But as more homeowners attempt to stave off foreclosure by striking such deals, lenders are denying or delaying many of these transactions even when it appears the sales would be in their best interest, according to real estate agents and housing advocates. Eventually, some of the properties are sold at auction for less than the lender would have recouped through a short sale, they say. That not only costs banks, but it further damages homeowners’ credit and depresses overall property values.
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