Divorce is an interesting niche in our real estate practice whch can be, understandably, very emotionally charged.
The spirit of cooperation to maintain the marriage, the home and in some cases, just civil conversation, has long since been overtaken by anger and the blame for a situation that neither spouse welcomes.
While short sales are not as prevalent now as they were a few years ago, we see them because of our divorce niche. The second mortgage or refinancing that was done to pay for the....name that expense....has now made the mortgage(s) total more than the market price of the house.
We are usually the people who explain why a traditional sale or refinancing the house is not possible for this particular situation and what a short sale is and how the process works.
Very often, there are misunderstandings as to what a short sale is and is not....often due to "a friend said...I read on the internet..." none of which is true. I explained the process and the spouse listened intently. There were a number of "Yes...Buts..." with still more incorrect information as the conversation continued. The last "Yes...But...." it would require to put together the documents that the bank requires for the short sale. Yes, of course, the Bank is forgiving tens of thousands of dollars in debt and they want the information supplied to be verified and accurate. No...No...No....there would be not more than five minutes taken for document production....the spouse claiming the estranged spouse was at fault and could do it all. I calmly explained that was not how the process worked. Each person provided their own information as they are required to do for the court in the divorce and may be required to update paystubs and bank statements as the process progresses.
In some cases there are lenders who require homeowners to "try" a short sale. It is a far less expensive and less time consuming process than foreclosure...their goal is not to be further involved in real estate sales. In those cases...No is not an acceptable answer and like it or not...the spirit of cooperation will have to prevail. In other cases...the lender may not object and the spouse can continue not to cooperate and lose the house to foreclosure.
If you know anyone who is going thru a divorce (likely you do given the divorce rate) know that they are best served by Realtors with divorce experience. In southeastern Wisconsin, call the Hansons, we would be honored to be of service.