Shorts sales/foreclosure process?
I also posted this on the Homes forum, but I thought I would ask try here as well. After a year of trying to sell our old home without success, we hired a lawyer to help negotiate a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure with our lenders. When we first met with this lawyer, he said it would be highly possible to get our second lender to settle for $5000 instead of the $50000 we owe. He also said he has realtors he works with regularly for short sales. Since we hadn't been able to find a realtor experienced with short sales and had trouble even finding a lawyer to take the time to meet with us, we went ahead and retained him, even though it all sounded a little too easy. That was three months ago, and so far he has done nothing. He said that the forclosure process takes at least six months and that our lenders would not even consider anything until we were at least three months behind on payments. This month we are officially three months behind.
This lawyer also advised us to rent out the house and not tell the property management company we hired what is going on with the house. So now we are contracted with a prop management company and have renters in the house on a 6 month lease. Meanwhile our lenders are still calling us, the lawyer hasn't done anything except send us an itemized bill that shows almost all of the retainer being spent on things like "dicated memo to client" and faxes to the lenders that were never received. It takes several phone calls to get him to call us back, and then he charges us for the time spend talking with us, even though the purpose of the call was to remind him to follow up on things he had not done.
I feel very uncomfortable with this whole situation, not making the payments and having this nice unsuspecting family living in the house not knowing that they could end up getting evicted if we foreclose before their lease is up. I checked the laws in the state and the bank can foreclose in as little as 90 days, which is where we are at. The few times I have spoken with the lawyer since the original meeting, he has assured me that this will take at least 6 months and we will have plenty of time to end the contract with the prop management co. and get the tenants out, but I have to wonder if this is correct.
Does it sound we were taken by an attorney who has no intention of helping us, or is this the normal process? He told us not to talk with the lenders, but I ended up having to the other day because I couldn't get in touch with him to do it for us and now I am nervous I gave away too much information. If anyone has experience and advice on this kind of situation, I would appreciate the input. Thank you.