Lightning fast short sales help home sellers avoid bankruptcy

Sign of a healthier housing market

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - The last few days have been a whirlwind for Alexandra Burns and her four children. A lightning fast short sale has them moving into a rental just eight weeks after putting her house up for short sale.

"I was surprised that it moved real fast. It was like one day you're at a deadline and the next you're closing," says Burns, a 32-year-old day care provider.

Burns didn't mind the fast pace, the process saved her from foreclosure. Being 10 months behind on her mortgage payments, she says there was no other way out.

"I was behind on my payments. I have four kids, I'm a single mother, it's hard," says Burns.

Burns qualified for a federal program which forgives debt and gives the seller $3,000 in a short sale. Some realtors say these programs are crucial in keeping homes from sitting vacant.

"Banks are more cooperative now and they're offering incentives to sellers to operate the short sales. The banks are being proactive," says Yvonne Westerman, a Sales Associate with Realty Professionals in Delray Beach.

Foreclosures were up 30% in August compared with one year ago. Burns is one of the lucky ones, in the future she can try to relive the American dream.

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