Should I Have A Lawyer To Help With My Short Sale?

If you are a homeowner facing foreclosure, you undoubtedly have lots of questions and concerns. A short sale transaction is a legal settlement between you and your lender in which you agree to settle your outstanding legal obligation through a reduced payoff of your loan. All distressed real estate transactions are fraught with difficult legal issues. The short sale process in particular involves extensive negotiations and presents complex legal issues related to recourse liability, taxation and forgiveness of debt, foreclosure processing, and the terms and provisions of the settlement and releases of liability. Traditional real estate brokers are forbidden by law from dispensing legal advice and therefore cannot offer you a complete understanding of the consequences of your decision. Make sure you are protected and that you have all the answers you need before making any decisions.


For many homeowners, a short sale is the most effective foreclosure alternative. You will be able to remain in the home well past the scheduled foreclosure date while we negotiate a short sale with your lender. You will also be protected from lender lawsuits, eviction, deficiency judgments and collection actions once the short sale is completed, and you may be able to avoid certain tax consequences as well. You won’t pay any costs or fees in a short sale; the lender pays for everything and may even offer you a cash incentive.

By combining a real estate brokerage with the knowledge and skill of an experienced real estate attorney, Lawyers Realty Group is able to provide unprecedented service in marketing and selling your home while fully protecting your legal rights throughout the process  –  and we do it all without putting a sign in your yard or a lockbox on your door. We employ a team of very skilled and experienced real estate professionals headed by Southern California’s top real estate attorney/broker. We know how to sell homes in this distressed market and maximize every advantage for the homeowner. Lawyers Realty Group will ensure that the banks are held accountable for their legal violations if they fail to cooperate in good faith.

Only an Attorney/Broker can fully examine your legitimate options and forcefully protect your rights. I began my legal career representing national banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase. I know how they operate, and I know how to work the system to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your difficult situation. Let me put that knowledge and experience to work for you.

Lawyers Realty Group has helped countless homeowners put this nightmare behind them and regain their financial footing. Call me directly at (949) 613-5900 ext 100. This is my direct line, not an assistant or a paralegal. If I don’t pick up, please leave a message for me and I will call you back as quickly as possible. You can also email me with all the information here. I’m here to help in any way I can – please call or email right away.


LAWYERS REALTY GROUP is an attorney owned and operated short sale brokerage that was formed to help level the playing field between struggling homeowners and the bank lawyers who are threatening them with foreclosure, eviction, deficiency judgments and collection actions.

Traditional real estate agents are simply not trained to deal with the underhanded tactics used by the banks, and it is illegal for those agents to discuss or negotiate the legal and tax issues raised in a short sale. This leaves homeowners vulnerable and unprotected. By combining a real estate brokerage with the knowledge and skill of an experienced real estate attorney, Lawyers Realty Group is able to provide full protection for homeowners while charging all costs and fees to the bank.

Clients of Lawyers Realty Group receive free and comprehensive legal counseling, a full analysis of all options, and vigorous representation on both the legal and transactional sides of a short sale. We specialize in handling all aspects of short sale transactions, from listing and marketing homes to negotiating with the banks and commencing legal action when necessary. Lawyers Realty Group aggressively represents clients against the banks and maximizes every advantage for homeowners to help them begin their financial recovery.

Derik N. Lewis, Esq., is the founder and president of Lawyers Realty Group. Derik is a California real estate attorney and real estate broker. He graduated magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law and has 20 years of real estate experience. Derik served as legal counsel for some of the world’s largest lenders including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase. Homeowners facing foreclosure or seeking a short sale can find help from a skilled real estate broker and experienced short sale attorney by contacting Derik at (949) 613-5900 x100.

“Your lender has a lawyer. You should too!”

Do I Need A Lawyer For My Short Sale Transaction?

Hi there this is Derik Lewis with Lawyers Realty Group here in Southern California; thanks for joining me again today on my short sale blog. Right now we’re talking about whether or not you need to have an attorney involved in your short sale transaction.

I’ll start by saying you absolutely have to have a broker involved; you need someone to handle the real estate transaction, to list and sell the property, as in any other transaction. But when evaluating whether to have an attorney involved on your short sale, you need to look at the facts behind a short sale. You’re in default on your contract, that means you’re in breech and you’re asking the lender to settle and waive their ability to come after you. It’s basically a settlement of a legal issue and I think most people would say they would want an attorney involved in this process, but they can’t afford it.

That’s why I formed Lawyer’s Realty Group. I get to bring my legal knowledge and background to represent you in the short sale process, review the documents, make sure your approval letters have the proper releases and that the lender isn’t reserving the right to come after you later on. I’m able to do this without charging you for the legal side because I’m also a broker and can handle the regular transaction. I can also get the lender to pay the commissions and fees that are involved in the short sale transaction.

I welcome any questions so please visit our website at where you can submit short sale questions to me directly. There are also a number of other resources out there regarding short sales, so please take advantage of this today. Remember, your lender has a lawyer and you should, too.

Net Present Value and Failed Loan Modification

Hi I’m Derik Lewis with Lawyers Realty Group, one of Southern California’s leading short sale teams. I’ve been getting a number of calls recently from a number of people who have received letters from their lender denying their loan modification based upon the net present value test. I wanted to give you an idea of what’s going on and what I think might be going on. When you apply for a loan modification there are really two tests that the lender has to go through. One is a fairly easy concept it’s the affordability concept. You take a look at your gross income and the guidelines say you can afford about 31% of your gross income towards your housing debt. That includes your mortgage payment, your taxes and your insurance and your HOA. So if you are above 31%, the lender can reduce their rate and they can extend the term and if they get you to the 31% threshold by doing those things, then you are approved on the first part of the test. The problem for a lot of people the second part of the test is the net present value concept. In a nutshell the bank is looking at the value of the property trying to determine if they were to foreclose and sell, how much money would they net in that sale? What they do is compare that amount that they would net in that sale vs. giving you the modification you would need to get to the affordability rate and they are seeing which one has less of a loss to them. If selling the property gets them more money, then their guidelines dictate that they have to sell that property rather than give you the loan modification. So that’s the general concept of net present value. I will say though that I’ve looked at some of the numbers from people that have received these letters saying they have failed the net present value. For the most part, values in the Southern California area are so low compared to these mortgages that it’s hard to imagine that they did fail the net present value test. So I’m suspicious at best, but I’ll leave it at that. Again, I’m Derik Lewis with Lawyers Realty Group, one of Southern California’s leading short sale teams. Please let us know if you have any questions. Just remember your lender has a lawyer and you should too.

Are Trial Modification Payments A Bank Scam?

Hello everyone Derik Lewis with Lawyers Realty Group thank you for your time today. I work with Southern California area homeowners every day and use my blog to share valuable information on your options for avoiding foreclosure. If you are currently behind on your mortgage payments or have seen the value of your home greatly diminished please visit my website or contact me personally to learn how Lawyers Realty Group can help you.

For my blog today I wanted to talk with Southern California homeowners about a term that I use frequently when first meeting with a homeowner in regards to a trail payment modifications. In my letter that I send out to Southern California homeowners I refer to trial payments as a bank tactic and wanted to expand on that to better explain why they may not be a long term solution. Often times the trial payment is just a number that is pulled out of thin air in order to collect payments for a short amount time. This trial period is only suppose to last three months but I have spoke with many Southern California homeowners who have had trial extended to nine months. The servicer on your mortgage will always take their fee first when you make these trial payments and it is never truly clear if the homeowner is making the correct payment or not. Many times in this situation the homeowner will receive a debt validation notice informing them they are behind on their mortgage and need to bring their balance current as soon as possible. It’s reasons like this why I am often skeptical when a Southern California homeowner comes to me considering a trial modification.

If you can no longer afford your mortgage payments there are numerous options to consider and I am here to answer your questions and help you avoid foreclosure. Take a minute to visit my website and try our Short Or Stay Calculator to find out if a short sale is right for you. Thank you for your time today and please contact me with all of your real estate questions. Just remember, your bank has a lawyer and so should you.

Bankruptcy Isn’t A Fail Safe Alternative To Foreclosure

Thanks for joining me again, this is Derik Lewis with Lawyers Realty Group in Southern California. If you’re heading towards foreclosure and think that a short sale might be the best option for you, please give me a call. I wanted to touch briefly today on bankruptcy because I’ve had a couple of questions this week about it.

You can file either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. A Chapter 7 is a complete liquidation of your assets; you tell your creditors and the court that you’re done and you’re essentially wiping out all of your debts. A Chapter 13 is a reorganization of your debts. You combine all of your unsecured creditors and any amount that you have over your necessities in income, you’ll put towards those creditors for a period of time. If you complete that plan the rest is wiped out and forgiven. In a Chapter 13 you can actually take a second lien holder and tell the courts you would like the lien to be stripped of your property and added in with the unsecured creditors.

The questions I’m getting are how filing a bankruptcy affects a foreclosure. You can file on an emergency basis on the morning of your foreclosure, however I don’t recommend this. The law is clear that if a bankruptcy is filed before the auction occurs at the foreclosure, it would invalidate it but it’s just too dangerous. If you’re looking to postpone that sale and protect assets, you’ll want to have everything in order to be filed at least two business days before your foreclosure sale date. We have a service that we provide as well as contacts for bankruptcy preparers. The lender does have the right to ask for a relief from the stay and proceed with the foreclosure. We’ve seen this happen, so filing bankruptcy isn’t a fail safe to stop the foreclosure process.

Bankruptcy isn’t an alternative to foreclosure because when you do get your discharge, the lender is going to keep putting your home into foreclosure. You have to find a way to address the foreclosure issue, like doing a short sale. We work with the bankruptcy filing and reach out to the lender and start discussing the opportunity of doing a short sale after your discharge. Not only does this buy you extra time, but it also provides you all the benefits that we’ve discussed before about doing a short sale, such as less of an impact on your credit. We have more information on our website about bankruptcy, avoiding foreclosure and doing a short sale on your home. Visit our website at and send me questions because I’d be happy to answer them for you.