"There is a huge problem in our country with short sales. In Utah, as well as nationally. Because of the housing boom, prices were over inflated. Now, many homeowners owe more on their house than they are worth. These people are generally not good savers anyways, and so have no way to sell their homes unless someone pays the difference. Government is once again, stepping in with some assistance, finding ways to reward the irresponsible: The U.S. Treasury Department announced new guidelines this week designed to make short sales go more smoothly. To qualify under these new guidelines: * The property must be the home owner’s principal residence. * The home owner must be delinquent on the mortgage or close to defaulting. * The loan must have been made before Jan. 1, 2009, and be for less than $729,750. * The borrowers’ total monthly mortgage payment must exceed 31 percent of their before-tax income. Under the plan, borrowers will receive $1,500 from the government for selling homes for less than the amount of their mortgages. Mortgage-servicing companies will get $1,000 for each completed short sale. Second-mortgage holders can receive up to $3,000 of the sales proceeds in exchange for releasing their liens. Investors who hold the first mortgage can collect up to $1,000 from the government for allowing the payments. Borrowers who complete a short sale under the program must be “fully released” from future liability for the debt, according to the guidelines."