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Short sale option offers no guarantee to keep your home

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Updated: 7/01/2013 11:31 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- A staggering 75,000 Nevadans are behind in their mortgages and for some, desperate times call for desperate measures.

You’ve seen the ads on TV…

“Listen up Las Vegas—at Cogburn law offices we can now short sell your home and then you can buy it back at today’s prices. And the best part about it: you never have to move.”

You’ve driven past the billboards making a promise some just can’t believe.

Is this too good to be true? In some instances.

Jamie Cogburn is open. Only one in three homeowners that apply are actually accepted into his “Dream-Savers” program. Those lucky few—and there have only been 28 of them since it started in March -- got to short-sell and stay in their homes.

How can you guarantee something like this?

“You can't--I wish I could-I’ve be sitting on the beach right now,” Cogburn said.

Cogburn says the fine print on his billboards is there for a reason. For example: if Freddie Mae or Fannie Mac is your investor: you’re automatically disqualified but there is opportunity for some.

“You’ve got to make the law really work for you,” Cogburn said.

A loophole in Nevada’s law allows homeowners to short sell to non-profits and then rent or buy their house back, but finding a non-profit to fit that mold took Cogburn’s team 12-months or more…

“I tell homeowners to be cautious,” said Sandra Jauregui with the Financial Guidance Center which gave free help to some 11,000 homeowners in just the last year.

But rather than buying into the frustration and spending thousands on a method like the Dream Savers program:

“I think homeowners need to exhaust all of their efforts before resorting to a method like this,” Jauregui said.

Like many, she’s skeptical.

“If they short sell their home to Cogburn and this nonprofit, what guarantees are they going to get to get this home back?” said Jauregui said who wonders if it’s the right way to salvage your home.

We know it's legal--but is it ethical? Are the people taking advantage of this program benefitting at the market's demise?

“Well yes. At the end of the day. do i think it's ethical? i do.

Cogburn points out major companies prosper all the time from their own demise.

“American airlines goes into bankruptcy they got $4 billion in cash so it's really a business decision and that’s how you have to look at it. It is frowned upon when a consumer does it,” Cogburn said. “People will go that's the biggest coups I’ve ever seen--great business move and that's what we're doing with your house--so is it ethical? that's for an individual to decide.”
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