FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – May 30, 2014 – Question: We have been trying to get our lender to approve a short sale for several months. The bank just e-mailed a short sale approval letter that was already expired. When we called the bank, we were told that we have to start over from scratch. I thought short sales were getting easier. What happened? – Norman

Answer: Sadly, your story is typical. Although you rarely hear about the foreclosure crisis in the news anymore, it's still going on, with many hundreds of thousands of homeowners in distress.

It did seem that short sales were becoming less of a hassle after the $25 billion national mortgage settlement was announced in 2012. But it has been my experience that borrowers still are struggling to get the necessary approvals. In some cases, borrowers fail to provide the proper paperwork in a timely manner; in others, the bank negotiators don't have the proper training.

Borrowers must be as persistent as ever. Get all your information together and jump through all the hoops that are presented to you. Send in the same paperwork again and again, reply to all requests quickly and fully, document everything, and always remain calm, polite and cooperative when dealing with the bank's representatives.

When you get frustrated, resist the urge to give up and remember that you are doing this to make your situation better. I have found that most people get the relief they want if they hang in there.

About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He is the chairperson of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is an adjunct professor for the Nova Southeastern University Paralegal Studies program. Send him questions online at or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.

The information and materials in this column are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in this column is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

© 2014 Sun Sentinel, Gary M. Singer. Distributed by MCT Information Services 

 Reprinted with permission. Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved